Timber Giant Leads Loggers Toward Sustainability

After three years of pressure from environmental groups led by
the Rainforest Action Network (RAN), Boise Cascade has announced it
will no longer sell wood and paper products from endangered
forests, extend this policy to its suppliers, and apply it
domestically and internationally. The decision by Boise is being
hailed by RAN as the most significant breakthrough in private
sector forest protection since The Home Depot’s 1999 resolution to
refuse selling wood from endangered forests. Boise will stop using
timber from old-growth forests in the U.S. by the end of the year
and will stop buying wood from endangered forests internationally,
in places such as Canada, Chile, and Indonesia.

The three-year campaign by the large coalition of environmental
groups included hundreds of demonstrations, petitions for customers
to drop Boise contracts, and significant counter-action by Boise,
such as writing letters to RAN’s funders asking them to stop
funding the nonprofit.

‘The only question is when the rest of the industry will
follow,’ said RAN’s old growth campaign manager, Jennifer Krill.
Thus, following the announcement by Boise Cascade, RAN challenged
Boise’s competitors to ‘get out of old growth or go out of
business.’ The letters went to what RAN calls, ‘the 12 most
environmentally destructive U.S. forest products companies’:
Bowater, Georgia-Pacific, International Paper, Louisiana-Pacific,
MeadWestvaco, Plum Creek Timber, Potlatch, Rayonier, Sierra Pacific
Industries, Sweetheart Holdings, Universal Forest Products, and
Weyerhaeuser. These companies cut, import, and distribute old
growth and endangered forest products, and are the leading
manufacturers of virgin tree paper. ‘Boise has shown what a real
initiative for healthy forests looks like,’ said Krill. ‘Boise’s
commitment demonstrates that industrial evolution is possible. It
should serve as a wake up call to loggers: evolve or go
extinct.’

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