VICTORY: The Closing of the Old-Growth Forest Frontier
After years of being the target of aggressive forest conservation
campaigns, the paper and building material company Boise has
announced an end to the cutting and sale of old-growth forest
products. They have pledged to stop using timber from American
old-growth by 2004, to not purchase timber from “endangered
forests” elsewhere, and to drop their support of lawsuits seeking
to overturn protections for America's last roadless forest
This is a magnificent victory for the forest conservation
movement – and the Rainforest Action Network (RAN) in particular.
Forests.org played a supporting role with thousands of others
through constant tracking and networking of information, repeated
action alerts, protests and other campaign activities. RAN is now
targeting the “dirty dozen”, other companies engaged in ecologically
criminal logging practices.
The message is clear – companies will either get out of the business
of using old-growth or go out of business altogether. As a RAN
spokesperson stated: “Logging, distributing or selling endangered
forests is a barbaric, outdated practice that has entered its
endgame in the American marketplace… Any company that is still
engaged in this practice is on the wrong side of history,” he said.
Logging of ancient primary and old-growth forests is a crime
against the Earth and humanity. With 80% of the world's forests
already lost or heavily fragmented and diminished, global
ecological sustainability depends urgently upon ending logging in
primary forests – a closing of the old-growth forest frontier –
embarkation upon the era of forest and ecological restoration,
and careful conservation management of regenerating natural
Always the skeptical pundit, I am concerned otherwise successful
consumer campaigns have not adequately addressed the issue of
“certified” logging in the World's remaining large, primary
forests. It must be made crystal clear – industrial scale
logging of primary forests can never be environmentally
acceptable or sustainable. Today must mark the beginning of the
end – the days of commercial scaled old-growth logging are over.
Regardless, my greatest admiration goes out to RAN, American
Lands Alliance and the National Forest Protection Alliance, who
spearheaded this campaign. And to YOU, that had no small part in
this forest conservation victory yourself – as you sent tens of
thousands of protest letters in support of old-growth forests
through Forests.org. My hat is off to you all… Good Job!