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.
Each AFC district has Rangers and Foresters who are certified Law Enforcement Officers. These Officers handle misdemeanor dumping and fire cases, and at least one Officer is qualified to handle some felony cases. The AFC also has three full-time Criminal investigators who investigate misdemeanor and felony cases statewide. Contact investigators through AFC Central Dispatch at: (501) 332-2000.
If you would like to make a complaint about dumping, timber theft, wildfire, or logging equipment theft, or vandalism, please contact the nearest AFC office or fill out the electronic Complaint Form and submit it. You may also download the complaint form and fax to 501-296-1949. An AFC investigator will contact you.
If you have information that might help AFC solve a crime, which may entitle you up to a $5000 reward, you can fill out the electronic Information Form and submit it. You may also 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. If you have a dumping problem on your property, contact the nearest AFC office to file a complaint. You may also submit a complaint electronically or download the complaint form and fax to 501-296-1949. An AFC investigator will contact you.
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. See Selling Your Timber: Tips from AFC Law Enforcement Officers for guidelines to follow when you do have a timber sale. If you have a complaint, contact the nearest AFC office and file a complaint. You may also submit a complaint electronically or download the complaint form and fax to 501-296-1949. An AFC investigator will contact you.
The best thing you can do to protect yourself during a timber sale is use a comprehensive contract. See a sample Timber Sale Contract, here.
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. If your equipment has been stolen, burned, or vandalized, contact the nearest AFC office to file a complaint, or fill out the electronic complaint form and submit it. You may also submit a complaint electronically or download the complaint form and fax to 501-296-1949. An AFC investigator will contact you.
AFC Law Enforcement Links
Arkansas Forestry Commission Law Enforcement Quick Reference Guide
For Arkansas Forest Landowners - Don't be a Victim of a Timber Transaction Crime
Arkansas Law Code Guide
Selling Your Timber: Tips from AFC Law Enforcement Officers
Witness Reward Program - from the Arkansas Forestry Association
Consulting Foresters Directory
Timber Buyers Directory