AURORA, Minn. (AP) -- A man from northeastern Minnesota is accused of stealing
hundreds of birch trees from state land.

Forty-year-old David A. Lawrence of Aurora was charged with timber trespass on
state lands, a gross misdemeanor.

The complaint says in March, a state conservation officer found Lawrence and
two other men in the woods near Embarrass. Lawrence said he had been in the area
for three days cutting down trees.

The Star Tribune reports Lawrence does not have a permit to take birch. The
other two men were not charged because they are American Indian and were cutting
in an area covered by treaty.

Court records don't list an attorney for Lawrence.

Authorities have reported a rash of birch thefts in northern Minnesota and
Wisconsin. The timber is used in decorative arrangements.

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