strategy

Preserving old growth forests

Synonyms:
Conserving pristine native forest
Conserving virgin forest
Saving old growth trees
Conserving ancient forests
Protecting old stand forests
Context:
Old growth forests are forests that have never been logged commercially. The giant trees in some old growth forests are over 2,000 years old. The Amazon rainforest is tens of thousands of years old, large portions of which have never been touched by commercial logging. Around the world less than twenty percent of these original forests survive, and less than four percent in the United States.
Implementation:
Australia announced in 1993 its intention to ensure that a reserve system to protect areas of old growth forest and wilderness values would be in place by 1995 on public lands and by 1988 on private lands.

Pacific Lumber Company for years pioneered the development of sustainable logging practices on its substantial holdings of ancient redwood timber stands in California. It also provided generous benefits to its employees, fully funded its pension fund, and maintained a no layoffs policy during downturns in the timber market. This made it a good citizen. It also made it a prime takeover target. Corporate raider Charles Hurwitz gained control in a hostile takeover. He immediately doubled the cutting rate of the company's holding of thousand-year-old trees, reaming a mile and a half corridor into the middle of the forest that he jeeringly named "Our wildlife-biologist study trail." He then drained $55 million from the company's $93 million pension fund and invested the remaining $38 million in annuities of the Executive Life Insurance Company_which had financed the junk bonds used to make the purchase and subsequently failed. This stand of redwoods is now the subject of a last- ditch effort by environmentalists to save it from clear cutting.

Many leading U.S. corporations including 3M, Kinko's, IBM, Nike and Levi-Strauss are going old growth free. Europe's largest home improvement retailer, B&Q, is now in the process of phasing out old growth wood sales altogether.

Organizations:
Taiga Rescue Network
Subjects:
Growth
Trees
Minority, indigenous groups
Safety
Protection
Forestry
History
Conservation
Type Classification:
G: Very Specific strategies