Forests & Forestry
Timber theft, or timber trespass, is common throughout the Southeast. Each year numerous private forest landowners discover their timber has been stolen or inadvertently harvested.
Timber theft carries a civil penalty in Tennessee and often results in a complete financial loss to the owner. The value of stolen timber can be written off against income tax as an involuntary conversion. The deductible loss, however, is limited to the tax basis of the timber. If caught, the trespasser can be required to pay damages double or triple the current market value of the timber, according to whether the timber was negligently (accidentally) cut or knowingly (intentionally) cut from the property of another (refer to TCA 43-28-312 for the specific law - found at conclusion of this publication).
"SP595 Timber Theft! How to avoid it and what to do if it happens," The University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service, SP595-1.5M-1/02 E12-4915-00-014-02, http://trace.tennessee.edu/utk_agexfores/15