AFC Law Enforcement
The AFC’s Law Enforcement program is committed to reducing the number of wildland crimes committed against landowners and the timber industry each year. These crimes generate annual losses of hundreds of thousands of dollars to landowners and the timber industry through theft of timber, wildland fires, and the theft or vandalism of logging equipment. Arson is the second leading cause of wildland fires in Arkansas.
Arkansas Statute §25-17-304 gives the AFC the authority to appoint certain employees as certified Arkansas Law Enforcement Officers. AFC Law Enforcement Officers are fully certified to enforce the laws of the State of Arkansas, but primarily focus on dumping, wildfires, timber theft, and logging equipment theft and vandalism.
To contact AFC Law Enforcement about any forestry-related crimes listed below, contact the nearest AFC office to file a complaint, or submit a complaint electronically, or download the complaint form and fax to 501-296-1949. An AFC investigator will contact you.
Law enforcement is an important part of forest fire prevention. The AFC assumes responsibility for statewide forest fire law enforcement. The 1935 Arkansas General Assembly passed Act 85 - The Cole-Crutchfield Forest Fire Law - to protect Arkansas forests from uncontrolled wildfires. Amended over the years, fire laws are still in effect and still help protect Arkansas forests from uncontrolled wildfire.
Illegal Dumping on Forestland
Arkansas is the Natural State, however, illegal dumps mar the views many tourists and citizens enjoy. Unlawful dumping on forestland has been identified as a major problem. AFC Investigators and Rangers work diligently to prevent and prosecute individuals who would attempt to scar the beauty of the forest.
Timber theft crimes include outright theft of forest products, failure to pay, as well as fraud. Timber theft crime is characterized as “white collar crime committed by criminals in work clothes.” In other words, many cases are never reported because victims do not realize that they have the rights to prosecute.
The Forestry Commission is the primary law enforcement agency investigating timber theft crime in Arkansas. Agents handle 75 - 100 timber theft crime investigations per year. Investigations usually begin with a complaint from a landowner.
There are many things you can do to help protect yourself, including using a good Timber Sale Contract, and following tips provided in the "Selling Your Timber" brochure, below.
Logging Equipment Theft and Vandalism
Logging equipment vandalism and theft involves any equipment involved in the timber industry. From skidders and log trucks to 4-wheelers and chainsaws; if the item is used for logging purposes, it falls into this category whether it be stolen, burned, or vandalized.
Law Enforcement Links