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Investigators close on infamous 'Gresham Lumberjack'
By Christopher Keizur,
Investigators are circling the infamous “Gresham Lumberjack,” who has been the scourge of greenspaces along the Springwater Corridor Trail to the tune of more than $500,000 in damages and cause of a mind-boggling setback to restoration efforts, after he may have been spotted on security footage.
Though details on the alleged suspect remain sparse, with the city citing an ongoing investigation, a Portland resident may be the identity of the tree cutter.
He had been seen on security footage, via cameras installed by Gresham naturalists, cutting willow trees along Johnson Creek near Regner Road. True to the “Gresham Lumberjack’s” modus operandi, the footage showed the suspect using only a handsaw.
No arrests have been made, and the suspects identity is being withheld.
City naturalists began noticing cut trees in the fall 2021, but struggled to find the culprit responsible despite the formation of a task force. “The Lumberjack” did not use any of the cut wood, and was indiscriminate in his targets. Though the city continues to tabulate the damage — 18.3 acres of open space has been surveyed with another 12.1 acres left to investigate — the damage is shocking.
“The Lumberjack” has cut somewhere between 1,000 and 1,200 trees and shrubs, constituting 18 different species, including English holly, Oregon ash, cherry, hawthorn, red alder and big leaf maple. Each loss is worth a minimum of $500, equating to more than half a million in natural damages. That doesn’t include the efforts needed from staff and volunteers to replant those lost plants and trees.