Tree-Poaching Is On the Rise

A small group of people goes into the woods with a chain saw. That's how it begins. It ends with the death of a tree—felled, illegally, by poachers.


The United States Forest Service estimates that as many as one in 10 trees cut in the national forests is poached. In a new animated video, the Atlantic contributing writer Lyndsie Bourgon reveals the surprising reason tree-poaching is on the rise.


For more, read Bourgon’s Atlantic article, “The Opioid Crisis Is Killing Trees Too.”


Life Up Close is a project of The Atlantic, supported by the HHMI Department of Science Education.