FSC-certified wood is ingrained in rating systems like LEED, but rival SFI has a revised standard. Can it show it’s just as good on the issues that matter most?
by Tristan Roberts
Unique boreal habitats in Alberta, razed to make way for strip-mining of tar sands. Mixed hardwood forests in West Virginia, bulldozed for mountaintop-removal coal mining. Illegal clearcuts in Oregon fragmenting old-growth habitat for endangered species.
Besides being destructive practices that happen regularly in what most would consider highly regulated countries, what do all these scenarios have in common? There is a market for the timber they generate.
Those trees will become a part of our paper products, sheet goods, dimensional lumber, and hardwood veneers, all without us having any clue where they came from. The planet’s attention span will be much longer: these scars on the Earth will persist indefinitely, robbing us of diversity of habitat, healthy ecological systems, and longer-term economic benefit.