Protect Forests - Preserve Green Building Standards

#116 WILD NORTHWEST, January 26, 2005
A Message from Northwest Ecosystem Alliance
=====Keeping the Northwest Wild=====

Protect Imperiled Forests and Wildlife
Preserve the nation's leading green building standards: They work!

The US construction industry consumes vast quantities of wood, often from endangered forests, watersheds, or the habitat of critically endangered species like mountain caribou. Fortunately, the US Green Building Council's LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) encourages builders to use wood from more environmentally benign sources, like forests certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Today, LEED standards are the largest single driver of FSC-certified wood use in the US.

Unfortunately, the Green Building Council is now under heavy pressure by the timber industry's American Forest & Paper Association to promote wood from forests logged under the association's Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and its Canadian industry counterpart. Because the SFI allows and certifies unsustainable practices such as large-scale clearcutting and logging of old-growth forests, this change would make LEED standards misleading and less able to protect the world's forests.

Please show your support for strong building standards that protect our forests and wildlife. Comments are needed by February 1.

Send a message through the US Green Building Council site, https://www.usgbc.org/LEED/Drafts/drafts_main.asp. (You may have to register first. From submit comments at the bottom of the page, choose Materials & Resources; then choose MR c6 Renewable Materials to comment. Technical difficulties? Send comments directly to nc@committees.usgbc.org .)

Please urge the US Green Building Council to:

1) Only give credit and recognition to wood from forests certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and other systems that provide equal or greater protection to sensitive, non-renewable forest resources and forests.

2) Not give credit or recognize wood certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), the Canadian Standards Association (CSA), or other industry-dominated logging standards. The SFI allows and certifies non-renewable practices such as logging rates that exceed forest growth rates; the logging of old growth and endangered forests; and the elimination of biodiversity through conversion of diverse natural forests to monocultural tree farms.

For more information, visit http://www.dontbuysfi.com.

The FSC is an independent, non-profit, non-government organization whose mission is to promote environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial, and economically viable management of the world's forests. For more on the Forest Stewardship Council, go to http://www.fsc.org/en/

Please reply to this email to let us know that you took action. And thank you for helping keep Northwest forests wild!

Erin Moore
Communications Coordinator
Northwest Ecosystem Alliance
1208 Bay St., Ste. 201
Bellingham, WA 98225
360.671.9950 ext. 24


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