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Published November 27, 2009, 11:28 AM

Vandals target some 500 pine trees near Backus

BACKUS, Minn. (AP) — Investigators are trying to determine who drove six-inch nails into hundreds of red pine trees near Backus.

BACKUS, Minn. (AP) — Investigators are trying to determine who drove six-inch nails into hundreds of red pine trees near Backus.

They think the vandals might have thought they were saving the trees from logging. But if that was their plan, it backfired.

The stand is thinned every ten to 15 years. About 100 of the 600 trees were slated to be cut down and sold this month. The money would have benefitted the community and school district.

But workers found pole barn nails pounded into more than 500 of the trees.

Now the entire forest must be cut down due to safety concerns. Mike Diekmann of the Cass County Sheriff's Office says that if a saw hit one of the nails, "it would explode like a gun going off" and could cause serious injury.

A reward of up to $5,000 is being offered.

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