Ancient Juniper Trees Illegally Cut in New Mexico Monument

Authorities with the National Park Service are trying to find out who's responsible.

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This undated image provided by the National Park Service shows the illegal harvest of alligator juniper trees at El Malpais National Monument near Grants, New Mexico. Park Service officials are asking the public for help to stop the illegal harvesting of the trees, which are considered rare due to their slow growth rate. (National Park Service via AP)
Image via AP Photo/National Park Service

This article was republished here with permission from The Associated Press, however it is no longer available to read on Snopes.com.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Several dozen ancient alligator juniper trees have been illegally cut down at El Malpais National Monument in western New Mexico and authorities with the National Park Service are trying to find out who’s responsible. Known for their unique furrowed bark, alligator junipers grow very slowly. A seed can take up to 18 months to mature after pollination and the growth rate for young trees is about 0.6 inches (1.5 centimeters) per…

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