Environmentalists pushing a monopoly on logging

posted at 1:01 pm on November 17, 2012 by Jazz Shaw

When you think of hotbed political issues I’m sure that, just like me, one of the first subjects that leaps to mind is forest certification. (I know, right?) The truth is, a lot of Americans who aren’t actively involved in either the construction or forestry industries aren’t even aware of the subject. But going back many decades now, several organizations exist with the sole purpose of certifying forest lands and timber harvesting practices with the goal of balancing the need for preservation and the prevention of deforestation with the demand for high quality, affordable lumber and forest products. These include groups such as the American Tree Farm System, the Sustainable Forestry Initiative and the Forest Stewardship Council.

The latter in that group – the FSC – has been receiving a lot of attention lately in industry circles. At Town Hall, Ken Boehm explains how certain groups are currently pushing to have the FSC become the only certification program accepted in the US, and why that’s such a bad idea for everyone.

The National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC), an organization that attempts to promote ethics in public life, just released a white paper that examined the forest certification market. It concluded that many involved in the debate over certification programs display environmental hypocrisy with their promotion of a single standard, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)…

Unfortunately, environmental activists and organizations such as the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) seek to enforce a framework where only Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified timber gets recognized as environmentally sustainable. The USGBC’s “LEED” program uses a point-based rating system for buildings that awards credits to FSC-wood. This bias means that most wood products procured from land certified in the U.S. are severely disadvantaged; FSC recognizes only about one-quarter of North America’s certified forests. The other three-quarters of certified forests – recognized by groups such as the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and American Tree Farm System (ATFS) – are shut out of the competition, despite standards which are quite similar to those of FSC, and in some cases significantly better than the FSC standards.

Certifications matter, particularly when it comes to any projects receiving taxpayer funding. The government can readily step in and dictate which standard will be used in order to qualify for funds. And groups like the USGBC are putting pressure on commercial interests to have all new construction conform to FSC standards or face the public scorn of environmental groups. The problem is that FSC seems to have a far from balanced approach. As Boehm points out, the FSC only certifies roughly 30% of the American forest land that the other large, established standards groups do. This means that a vastly larger amount of timber has to come from outside the US in order to reach compliance, raising costs for builders and costing jobs at home.

So why do it? Well, for one thing, our old friends at the Sierra Club have been pushing the FSC for some time as the only standard which should be allowed. (Though I’m sure that wouldn’t have anything to do with the fact that they basically seek to ban lumber harvesting in large parts of the country, right?) In fact the Sierra Club and other groups such as ForestEthics have been attacking the other certification programs – both in and out of court – for years.

This is an end run through the courts and nothing more. When chaining themselves to trees or burying steel traps in tree trunks to injure loggers didn’t work, this was probably the next course of action. Keep an eye on this story over the coming year and we’ll see if Washington jumps on board with forcing FSC standards.


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Environmentalists have been a destructive force to the environment….
Their policies have enabled destructive wildfires to start and spread
almost unchecked……
They are really “green” nazis…..
Their goal is for control – not to save the “environment”….

redguy on November 17, 2012 at 1:07 PM

*Honestly I’m surprised we can even log anymore in the U.S.

Capitalism is raping and pillaging the forests, creating global warming, destroying the great mother earth that ancient indian tribes worshiped and yet we stand by and big bigger and bigger houses.

Pathetic, selfish Americans.

*channeling the Eco-nuts.

PappyD61 on November 17, 2012 at 1:09 PM

Not one of the hypocrites live in a sustainable way. If they live in a house, apartment or condo that wasn’t built following FSC standards it should be burnt down around their ears. I don’t care if it was built before those standards. Make them eat those standards.

chemman on November 17, 2012 at 1:10 PM

Do you know how hard logging is with a team of horses?
Love that picture. They make it seem so easy.
BTW, all this will result in is cheaper alternatives from Canada.
Canadian lumber for a long time way was cheaper than American.
For now, it seems things are a little more even.
But I’m sure not for long.

Badger40 on November 17, 2012 at 1:13 PM

How about we just bag all this nonsense altogether? The only reason these things exist it to try to destroy our modern society. If the greenies want to live at one with nature, let them move to Africa where the natives there live in the grass and mud huts that these greenies so wish on the rest of us. I’m just plain tired of this crap.

AZfederalist on November 17, 2012 at 1:17 PM

…why am I starting to loathe these people?

KOOLAID2 on November 17, 2012 at 1:17 PM

Give it to them.

Stick it in the “compromise.”

We have four years of Barack Obama. We might as well use them to demonstrate the actual consequences to liberalism to a public that simply doesn’t believe Republicans anymore because half of them have no political memory of the 1970s.

HitNRun on November 17, 2012 at 1:17 PM

These folk have waged a war of ethnic cleansing against the culture and society of the people of the West for a generation. The sawmills are mostly gone now, and the highly motivated and skilled workmen too, of the forest and milltowns.

May these enemies of my people rot in hell forever.

Scribbler on November 17, 2012 at 1:24 PM

Ironically, when it is their meal ticket on the line, they are all about monoculture and clear-cutting the competition. For giggles, FSC should be slammed for destroying the habitat those other organizations need to survive.

Christien on November 17, 2012 at 1:28 PM

I live on my farm of 245 acres. Most of it is now planted in pine trees, that is my crop. This farm has been in my family for about 100 years now. At one time my grandfather cultivated cotton and soybeans, but the land is poor and everyone in this area has gone to planting pine trees. I will be very angry when the government begins to step in and tells me what I can and can not do on this land. We have enough government intervention already.

SC.Charlie on November 17, 2012 at 1:30 PM

As an ordinary citizen, I just feel helpless.

I am 70 yrs. old and have seen rights and privileges eaten away bit by bit. I am saddened for my children.

FOWG1 on November 17, 2012 at 1:33 PM

Yup…Green Nazis is a good euphemism for these folks. They are for control and having things their way. My husband and I lived for many years in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains in northern California. In the area was a large logging company that had existed for many decades, managing their land in a most exemplary way. The environmentalists, Sierra Club et al, through excessive regulations, eventually shut them down.

These are the same folks who are pushing the U.N. Agenda 21 nonsense…be vigilant, everyone…

StarLady on November 17, 2012 at 1:34 PM

They’ve about killed the logging industry around here.
I see bumperstickers on trucks “If you don’t like logging, try using plastic toilet paper.”

vityas on November 17, 2012 at 1:35 PM

The fact is that stands of timber are planted and harvested as they grow. At first you do a thinning that generates revenue for the pulpwood. Then you do another thinning for pulpwood and maybe some saw timber. Then you start harvesting saw timber. Pine trees do eventually die. So then you clear cut and start all over again. This is a long process. Usually, land owners, such as myself don’t cut down the oak and other hardwoods. The wildlife diversity on my little farm is amazing and I enjoy it. Hunting does need to be done to control the deer population, since we have killed off all their natural predators. I can’t plant even plant a garden because of all the deer in this area.

SC.Charlie on November 17, 2012 at 1:39 PM

i was talking to a childhood friend yesterday. He is a West Point graduate and turned 62 years old yesterday. He lives in Northern Virginia. The deer population at his house that is in a residential area is totally out of control. Of course deer hunting is not allowed in the area because of it is a residential area, but the deer have become a problem. Cars hitting deer happen on a regular basis.

SC.Charlie on November 17, 2012 at 1:45 PM

These folk have waged a war of ethnic cleansing against the culture and society of the people of the West for a generation. The sawmills are mostly gone now, and the highly motivated and skilled workmen too, of the forest and milltowns.

May these enemies of my people rot in hell forever.

Scribbler on November 17, 2012 at 1:24 PM

Yes, they would rather see the forests burn then allow men to make a profit from it….

Soon – this attitude will invade everything…..

The Unions just did this to Hostess…..let it burn instead of allowing someone to make a profit.

This is what will have to happen to the government. it will have to burn so they cannot keep raping us.

redguy on November 17, 2012 at 1:48 PM

i was talking to a childhood friend yesterday. He is a West Point graduate and turned 62 years old yesterday. He lives in Northern Virginia. The deer population at his house that is in a residential area is totally out of control. Of course deer hunting is not allowed in the area because of it is a residential area, but the deer have become a problem. Cars hitting deer happen on a regular basis.

SC.Charlie on November 17, 2012 at 1:45 PM

Just outfit an old pickup truck with pitchforks – it is not “hunting” when you “accidentally” run over the poor deer.

redguy on November 17, 2012 at 1:49 PM

This appears to be a battle of the greenies over who controls our lives. I have worked in the timber industry for over 50 years now and have seen how devastating these types of policies can be to not only the industry but also to the entire community as well. In the Tongass National Forest, the greens came after the two pulp mills located here. All the time they were doing this the claim was made that all they wanted was to shut down the pulp mills and would leave the indepentant operators alone. Well after the two pulp mills and their companion sawmills shut down things were okay for maybe a few months, then the greens started after the two mid-sized sawmills there, calling them distructive because they were “Commerical sized operations”. One is left and from year to year hardly knows if it will have the minor amount of timber it needs to operate. These two mid-sized mills each have/had just about 30 to 40 employees, with about 40 to 50 workers in the woods. Since the decline of the industry here, the economic base has dropped severly in some areas to the point of population decline and a poorer standard of living for most. The greens will not be happy until who knows when.

oldbearak on November 17, 2012 at 1:49 PM

…why am I starting to loathe these people?

KOOLAID2 on November 17, 2012 at 1:17 PM

Starting? You’re about 40 years late to the party…

glcinpdx on November 17, 2012 at 1:49 PM

As an ordinary citizen, I just feel helpless.

I am 70 yrs. old and have seen rights and privileges eaten away bit by bit. I am saddened for my children.

FOWG1 on November 17, 2012 at 1:33 PM

I have 2 sons – 16 & 13 – the terms adapt & overcome are what they live and breathe.
I really feel sorry for the government when my kids and their friends are unleashed.
God help them.

redguy on November 17, 2012 at 1:51 PM

I will be very angry when the government begins to step in and tells me what I can and can not do on this land. We have enough government intervention already.

SC.Charlie on November 17, 2012 at 1:30 PM

Already happening. In some parts of Calif. to clear a tree you have to drop it at night and have it into firewood and off your property by the next day so you are not caught clearing land. The forest service can fine you for it. On your own property.

BullShooterAsInElk on November 17, 2012 at 1:57 PM

Just outfit an old pickup truck with pitchforks – it is not “hunting” when you “accidentally” run over the poor deer. – redguy on November 17, 2012 at 1:49 PM

I can’t begin to count how many close calls that I have just barely avoided hitting a deer. One day I was driving into town to work and pulled in behind a country dump truck full of dead deer that had been hit by cars. There must have been at least 30 deer in the truck. This is a rural area and the deer hunting season lasts from August 15 to January 1st. And, even with all the avid hunters we can not control the deer population. They are beautiful animals, but they breed like rats.

SC.Charlie on November 17, 2012 at 2:03 PM

The truth is, a lot of Americans who aren’t actively involved in either the construction or forestry industries aren’t even aware of the subject.

And the greens take advantage of that. No headlines, just lawsuits. Many Oregon logging employees are homeless now in L.A.

And the right name for the greens is watermelon: green on the outside, red on the inside.

PattyJ on November 17, 2012 at 2:03 PM

Just outfit an old pickup truck with pitchforks – it is not “hunting” when you “accidentally” run over the poor deer.

redguy on November 17, 2012 at 1:49 PM

we used older style 8′ plow, not the electric over hydraulic minute mounts. they don’t take the beating as easily.
one where you could actually push a 1 ton out of a bank/ditch with the power of the angle pistons.
used to get a few every year.

dmacleo on November 17, 2012 at 2:06 PM

Already happening. In some parts of Calif. to clear a tree you have to drop it at night and have it into firewood and off your property by the next day so you are not caught clearing land. The forest service can fine you for it. On your own property. – BullShooterAsInElk on November 17, 2012 at 1:57 PM

Anything that happens in California would not amaze me. You folks are so deep in dept and clueless on how to balance your budget ………….. well, it leaves me speechless. Don’t count on the rest of the country for a bailout.

SC.Charlie on November 17, 2012 at 2:07 PM

And the greens take advantage of that. No headlines, just lawsuits. Many Oregon logging employees are homeless now in L.A.

And the right name for the greens is watermelon: green on the outside, red on the inside.

PattyJ on November 17, 2012 at 2:03 PM

… and the tremendous irony of this is that when the Chinese foreclose on the debt owed to them, those same forests will be clearcut and stripped in order to pay back the debt. All those resources that we could have used will instead be strip-mined and harvested with the American workers getting by on subsistence wages all to pay for the debt being racked up by Jugears and company to buy votes for their control now.

AZfederalist on November 17, 2012 at 2:11 PM

What it comes down to is that conservatives of every stripe are conservationists. We just know that there is a limit to what can and can not be conserved. With all the regulations now in effect the national interstate highway system that was begun in the 1950s could not have been built. In South Carolina we would like to build an extension of the system that would give tourists a faster, safer route to the Myrtle Beach area. But diehard environmentalists have it all tied up in the courts.

SC.Charlie on November 17, 2012 at 2:16 PM

But diehard environmentalists have it all tied up in the courts.

SC.Charlie on November 17, 2012 at 2:16 PM

At some point, someone is going to have to tell the environmentalists to go pound sand. They can express their concerns, they will be duly noted and taken into account, but a balanced approach (that term seems to be all the rage these days) will be used to produce the final plan.

AZfederalist on November 17, 2012 at 2:22 PM

Same old liberal trick. Infest the institution then destroy it. Think all the foundations and universities.

pat on November 17, 2012 at 2:24 PM

The truth is, a lot of Americans who aren’t actively involved in either the construction or forestry industries aren’t even aware of the subject.

And why not?
Why do so many people still not know or understand things like Fast and Furious, Benghazi, Dodd-Frank and what the EPA is doing? We just had a Presidential election and why wouldn’t people know this?

Because our nominee didn’t think it all that important. He wanted to keep it about jobs.

The GOP doesn’t want to seem extreme. Yeah, it’s extreme to point out the extremism of the left. But the extremism isn’t going away just because you pretend to ignore it.

It’s all freaking theater.
But none of what I just stated will enter into the final analyses of people who pontificate on why Romney lost the election.

JellyToast on November 17, 2012 at 2:28 PM

I live in the Puget Sound area, which is where these filthy progressives polished their template for destroying the industry.

They used the Northern Spotted Owl to stop logging and virtually destroy this state as a dominant player in the logging industry. We’re coming back but it’s been a slog somewhat like taking Hamburger Hill.

Our solution is their solution – plant a few spotted owls in FSC certified forests and notify Mother Jones. A few episodes of bad press among the lib media and soon they will believe that FSC is really a cover for enemies of the cause. With luck, they’ll assume that all FSC people are anti- endangered species.

Then we will look like the reasonable people because we opposed a monopoly and besides, there wasn’t any spotted owl before there was a monopoly, right?

This script practically writes itself.

platypus on November 17, 2012 at 2:43 PM

Do you know how hard logging is with a team of horses?
Love that picture. They make it seem so easy.
BTW, all this will result in is cheaper alternatives from Canada.
Canadian lumber for a long time way was cheaper than American.
For now, it seems things are a little more even.
But I’m sure not for long.

Badger40 on November 17, 2012 at 1:13 PM

I believe the US either charges a duty on softwood imports from Canada, or bullied Canada into levying their own export tax.

I do miss the days of 99-cent 2×4′s on sale at Home Depot.

slickwillie2001 on November 17, 2012 at 2:43 PM

Crap keyboard.

any spotted owl s/b any spotted owl problem.

platypus on November 17, 2012 at 2:44 PM

The fact is that stands of timber are planted and harvested as they grow. At first you do a thinning that generates revenue for the pulpwood. Then you do another thinning for pulpwood and maybe some saw timber. Then you start harvesting saw timber. Pine trees do eventually die. So then you clear cut and start all over again. This is a long process. Usually, land owners, such as myself don’t cut down the oak and other hardwoods. The wildlife diversity on my little farm is amazing and I enjoy it. Hunting does need to be done to control the deer population, since we have killed off all their natural predators. I can’t plant even plant a garden because of all the deer in this area.

SC.Charlie on November 17, 2012 at 1:39 PM

Yep. Trees are a crop like any other. No one is foolish enough to protest the harvesting of a field of wheat. It would be sinfully wasteful to let that stand of wheat fall to the ground and die naturally. Why do we let trees die and fall to the ground, only to rot and give off all that nasty CO2?

Push it with the language of the greenies. Cutting down trees and making them into homes or fine furniture is the best way we have of sequestering Carbon.

slickwillie2001 on November 17, 2012 at 2:48 PM

And why not?
Why do so many people still not know or understand things like Fast and Furious, Benghazi, Dodd-Frank and what the EPA is doing? We just had a Presidential election and why wouldn’t people know this?
JellyToast on November 17, 2012 at 2:28 PM

I think that one reason that more people don’t know s that the Left is attacking the country on so many front simultaneously that it’s nearly impossible to keep up. I consider myself very well informed but had no idea about this. The eco-Marxists alone are attacking the country over coal, oil, natural gas, dams, automobiles, heavy trucks, forest management, ocean management, rivers, lakes, fishing, hunting etc.

From there move onto their assaults on the courts, the schools, US history, US sovereignty, capitalism in general, specific corporations, et al. It’s relentless and unending.

That is why I’m ready to just split the country in half and let them destroy themselves as long as they just leave us alone. If they won’t leave us alone, we declare war on them.

Charlemagne on November 17, 2012 at 2:48 PM

I’m thinking the time when we go after these nuts is getting near. The courts are corrupt, and Congress is non-existant except to serve the desires of the left. We outnumber the left by millions.

darwin on November 17, 2012 at 2:52 PM

The GOP doesn’t want to seem extreme. Yeah, it’s extreme to point out the extremism of the left. But the extremism isn’t going away just because you pretend to ignore it.

It’s all freaking theater.
But none of what I just stated will enter into the final analyses of people who pontificate on why Romney lost the election.

JellyToast on November 17, 2012 at 2:28 PM

Well, maybe not with the Republican establishment, but those of us down here in the trenches sure noticed it.

Good news today, one of our local legislative districts defeated the sitting chairman, a RINO and dem-lite and replaced him with someone who might actually try winning elections. We’ll see if the establishment Republicans try pushing this new guy out like they did the previous conservative.

AZfederalist on November 17, 2012 at 2:58 PM

Didn’t the Sierra Club president or former president in the late 80s or early 90s try to sell old growth trees on his property about the same time eco-nuts were putting iron bars in trees to kill loggers?

I hope I am remembering correctly…his excuse was that he couldn’t make his mortgage property payment…if he didn’t sell those trees for logging, he would lose his house and land.

Does anyone remember that?

mcra99 on November 17, 2012 at 3:24 PM

…why am I starting to loathe these people?

KOOLAID2 on November 17, 2012 at 1:17 PM

Because you have discernment.

Theophile on November 17, 2012 at 3:48 PM

I live on my farm of 245 acres. Most of it is now planted in pine trees, that is my crop. This farm has been in my family for about 100 years now. At one time my grandfather cultivated cotton and soybeans, but the land is poor and everyone in this area has gone to planting pine trees. I will be very angry when the government begins to step in and tells me what I can and can not do on this land. We have enough government intervention already.

SC.Charlie on November 17, 2012 at 1:30 PM

Amen SC.Charlie.

In Mississippi in 1933 we started a program to grow our forests, at that time having 4 million acres in pine. We now have 16 million acres in pine and take out three and a half million board feet of timber every year. Our forests are thriving places and the primary landowners are individuals such as yourself.

Pine is a crop, like corn. It takes a longer growth cycle and more careful management. We’ve shown here and many other places in the U.S. that forest management can be successful and profitable, especially for the smallest of foresters.

itsspideyman on November 17, 2012 at 3:50 PM

Didn’t the Sierra Club president or former president in the late 80s or early 90s try to sell old growth trees on his property about the same time eco-nuts were putting iron bars in trees to kill loggers?

I hope I am remembering correctly…his excuse was that he couldn’t make his mortgage property payment…if he didn’t sell those trees for logging, he would lose his house and land.

Does anyone remember that?

mcra99 on November 17, 2012 at 3:24 PM

I do remember it! Wasn’t his home built of redwoods?

itsspideyman on November 17, 2012 at 3:52 PM

If it can be forced on people and kill their jobs, Washington will be all over it.

RebeccaH on November 17, 2012 at 4:44 PM

This is an end run through the courts and nothing more. When chaining themselves to trees or burying steel traps in tree trunks to injure loggers didn’t work, this was probably the next course of action. Keep an eye on this story over the coming year and we’ll see if Washington jumps on board with forcing FSC standards.

Just remember, Jazz, that the courts are these peoples’ friends. Plenty of Activist Democrat Judges out there!

Del Dolemonte on November 17, 2012 at 5:04 PM

As a retired forester I can tell you from my experience that most of this certification stuff is crap.

Lazarus Long on November 17, 2012 at 5:12 PM

And, even with all the avid hunters we can not control the deer population. They are beautiful animals, but they breed like rats.

SC.Charlie on November 17, 2012 at 2:03 PM

But…but…Ba-a-a-ambi!!

Solaratov on November 17, 2012 at 5:29 PM

As an avid nature photographer, I spend a lot of time in tbe forest, I am usually in the forest one day out of the week, some observations. All of these greenies don’t spend much time in the forest. I will.see fishermen and hunters, but I.very rarely see hikers or people without a rod or rifle. When you do see avnd talk. To them, you soon realize that they run on emotion, they can look at a 20 foot eall of ladder fuel and never understand what they are seeing. I have been in places where they could send in loggers to haul out the blowdowns and they wouldn’t neer too cut a tree to fill up the logging trucks for a year

stormridercx4 on November 17, 2012 at 6:42 PM

And the right name for the greens is watermelon: green on the outside, red on the inside.

PattyJ on November 17, 2012 at 2:03 PM

Yup and then the progressive hate mongers here in the Portland area slam the “hicks” down in the timber counties for living of a fed welfare because they can’t cut any timber. When Josephine County voted down a new tax for police, they started arming themselves and forming neighbor hood watch patrols. The lefties in Portland called them all the typical names. What industry can they create down there? State taxes discourage new businesses from starting. Healthcare for the elderly/retirees is all thats left in southern oregon. But they’ve saved some owls and they have their coffee in stumptown. Keepin Portland weird with their gay mayor who has sex with interns in city office bathrooms. They won’t even let folks go in and clean up the knocked down/fire left overs, creating more fire hazards.

oryguncon on November 17, 2012 at 10:51 PM

My chainsaw and I salute you.

hillbillyjim on November 18, 2012 at 12:12 AM

The GD Sierra Club ass-ociates are the leading group behind petitioning the EPA to shut down coal mining and coal usage.

The GD Sierra Club needs to stay the hell out of Appalachia and keep their Neanderthal ideas west of the continental divide.

Damn meddling know-nothing, do-good, never-worked-a-day-in-your-life fukkwithotherz.

If you mind your own damned business, then you won’t have time to be minding mine.

Thanks, Bocephus and friends…

hillbillyjim on November 18, 2012 at 12:28 AM

Just another in a long list of how the Democrats fully understand the Social Marketplace Concept and the GOP not so much.

In this case the Social Marketplace is the forestry industry. How to design the forestry marketplace to best fill the political purposes of the eco left is the question.

Obamacare and the EPA are being used as models for how to manage any market in a top down fashion according to the whims of the eco-left. Create some regulatory agency to control the market that is pretty much outside legislative control that can write the rules pretty much on it’s own. Ideally, also make it so anyone challenging the agency for being too weak gets it’s legal bills paid by the taxpayer. What could possibly go wrong? Regulation without representation is so new age…

Meanwhile, the GOP LOSERship will scratch their heads, check their fund raisers to make sure some forestry folks on the schedule, and get back to doing nothing important or relevant.

drfredc on November 18, 2012 at 12:45 PM

Is Al Gore involved? Is he a stockholder in the FSC? Follow the money.

georgeofthedesert on November 19, 2012 at 12:02 PM