The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is investigating after an increase in the number of elm trees on state property were stripped of their bark.
According to District 10, which serves the Jackson, Ky. area, stripping trees of their bark causes them to die, meaning they could become a safety hazard if they aren't cut down.
Stripping trees of their bark is considered an illegal act of trespassing and vandalism of state property.
Last year, this was an issue in Knott County, where a number of trees were found stripped of their bark along KY 550. At that time, it was estimated it could cost around $5,000 to remove the dead trees.
According to Keith Todd in District 1, stealing the bark off elm trees has not been a reported problem in the Heartland.
However, Todd says they have seen an issue with people stealing highway signs, wiring from bridge navigation lights, and metal grates from roads.
If you see suspicious activity along the highway, you are asked to call your local law enforcement agency.