Man convicted of spiking trees gets 45 days

Published 8:03 am Monday, October 25, 2010

WALKER, Minn. — A Backus man convicted of driving six-inch spikes into more than 500 red pine trees to protect them from loggers has been ordered to serve 45 days in jail and five years on probation.

The Brainerd Dispatch reported Saturday that 52-year-old Stephen Thomas Olson was also ordered by Cass County District Judge John P. Smith last Tuesday to pay over $10,000 in restitution and fines. The judge stayed a sentence of one year and one day in prison.

Olson was found guilty in September of felony criminal damage to property and gross misdemeanor damage to timber.

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Cass County authorities say the spiked trees were discovered on county land last November.

According to KSAX-TV, prosecutors say Olson and two teens pounded the nails into the trees because he apparently was angry over plans to log them. The spikes posed a risk to logging equipment and loggers.