Monday, September 05, 2005

responsible forestry

I've been skimping on the "good news" lately, mostly because it's so hard to find any. But here is something I came across today that seems to qualify. From a WWF Press Release applauding the 100-year old Potlatch Corporation for its commitment to responsible forestry.

World Wildlife Fund applauds Potlatch Corporation for being a leader in responsible forest management in the U.S. With today's announcement that all 1.5 million acres of Potlatch forest land in Arkansas, Idaho, and Minnesota are now certified to the rigorous standards of the Forest Stewardship Council -- along with FSC certification for most of its processing facilities...

The Potlatch Corporation was founded in 1903 at Potlatch, Idaho. It is a diversified forest products company with timberlands in Arkansas, Idaho and Minnesota totaling more than 1.5 million acres. Products include lumber and panels (plywood and particleboard), bleached pulp, bleached paperboard and consumer tissue products.

Of course this kind of processing is very dirty and environmentally disasterous. Still, few of us are willing to give up the kinds of products they provide. Programs such as this hope to strike a compromise that we all can live with.


XTCfan said...

Processing like this doesn't have to be dirty or environmentally disasterous. There are solutions out there to almost every single environmental problem ... if we're willing to pay for them.

The problem is, people have gotten so used to not having the cost of environmental degradation or remediation factored into the full cycle of a product's production and price that we've gotten spoiled by it. And, given human nature and our propensity to think with our wallets, if there's no across-the-board mandate for such full-cycle pricing (between as well as within nations), then products produced in an environmentally responsible fashion will always be relegated to niche status, because of their higher cost.

But certification programs like the one you mention can help to bring the market to bear on this. If certified products can be viewed as better, then quality (or fear of consumer backlash) can trump pure cost.

Jill said...

Thanks for the info. I lived not too far from a pulp processing plant once... ughhhh. I got through it by telling myself "it has to be this way" and "boy do I love paper!"

I guess that is not necessarily so; still, you do have to cut down trees, at the very least.

I agree that regulation is necessary. People don't know where their stuff comes from anyway, even if they wanted to make better choices.