The Lumber Industry & the Environment

There is no dodging the fact that in order to manufacture decking and flooring products any lumber company will have to cut down trees. In the past this has been used to paint a negative picture of the lumber industry. This picture, however, is distorted, and a closer examination of the facts will show that blaming the lumber industry for the loss of rainforest ecosystems is a gross oversimplification.

First, here's some raw data. From 2000-2005, cattle ranches were the leading cause of deforestation in the Amazon, accounting for 60% of the destruction. Small scale agriculture (for instance, subsistence farming by the locals) accounted for 33%. Another 4% was caused by large scale commercial agriculture (1%) along with fires, dams, mining, etc. (3%). Logging accounted for the last 3% of deforestation, and that number includes both legal and illegal operations.

Right away, you can see something is wrong with the lumber industry's negative reputation, since legitimate logging only accounts for a tiny percentage of all the threats to the rainforest. But there's more.

Something many people fail to realize is that a healthy lumber industry must naturally lead to a healthy rainforest ecosystem. Think about it. Why would someone whose source of income is ultimately the forest want to destroy that forest? Rather, they would do everything in their power to ensure that it would stay healthy. The more money there is to be made in genuine wood products, the more protecting our natural forests will become a priority.

This is why bans and boycotts on tropical timbers are actually counterproductive to the goal of saving the rainforest. If no one wants to buy wood products, then the forests will be cleared out to make room for things people do want to buy, such as beef.

Of course, all of this assumes that the lumber industry is actually taking care of the rainforest. Rest assured, there are many organizations in place to enforce responsible forestry methods. The most effective system is the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®). Buying wood that has been certified by the FSC® is the best way for you to do your part in saving the rainforest.

Advantage Trim & Lumber Company only imports wood that has been responsibly harvested, and we do offer FSC® certified material. If you want to do your part to protect our environment, then contact us to buy eco-friendly lumber.

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