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Earth-Friendly Logging?

In early August Norfolk received the nation.s first shipment of meranti wood from Indonesia, a country that uses an environmentally sensitive logging method.

Nearly 2-million pounds of lumber were unloaded as part of a joint effort between private business, environmental groups, and the federal government. These groups are looking to "strike a balance between conservation and the free market."

This technique, called reduced-impact logging, not only cuts down on operating costs but it helps sustain forests, which is not the usual practice in many parts of the world. The technique involves elaborately mapping logging areas and carefully selecting the trees that are commercially valuable to cut and remove. The younger, nearby trees and surrounding vegetation are not damaged as in the past because the trees that are chosen (by size) are felled in the direction least likely to damage the forest. Environmentally sensitive locations can be avoided and logging roads built more efficiently by using this method. The ultimate difference with this method and the old way of logging - no clear cutting!

Companies participating in this endeavor are Home Depot, Caterpillar, IKEA, and most recently, Lowes. The second phase of this project will begin next month - the goal is to convince more retailers (and PURCHASERS) to participate!

[From The Daily Press, 6 August 2003.]