If you’re looking for a hardwood lumber supplier, there are several areas you need to consider. While price and quality may be at the forefront of your priority list, environmental and legal concerns should also play a part in the supplier-selection process. A responsible hardwood lumber supplier will be able to ensure 2 important considerations: legal origin of its lumber and environmentally friendly forestry practices.
In recent years, the U.S. has increased the legal responsibility level of all members of the wood products supply chain. The Lacey Act now prohibits commerce in illegally sourced plants, including wood products. Business must now utilize “due diligence” in order to avoid violating this law. Such caution is always easy to exercise, since each state, foreign, or governing authority has its own laws which determine the legality of harvesting timber within its jurisdiction. If lumber is harvested illegally (an initial violation of the Lacey Act), anyone who purchases, exports, transports, sells, or imports wood products made from the “tainted” logs is also in violation.
One reason illegal logging is of such concern connects with environmental concerns inherent in the vast effects of deforestation, which results in habitat destruction and climate change. Another reason is that the black-market lumber industry undermines the legal harvesting and trading of forest products. An outgrowth of poverty and corruption, the illegal logging industry jeopardizes sustainable forestry efforts.
North America’s well-honed public policies, governance that includes monitoring and enforcement, and availability of legal support make illegal logging on that continent virtually impossible. Instead, sustainable forest management has become the norm. This working definition of sustainable forest management (SFM) has been adopted by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO): “the stewardship and use of forests and forest land in a way and at a rate, that maintains their biodiversity, productivity, regeneration capacity, vitality and their potential to fulfill, now and in the future, relevant ecological, economic, and social functions, at local, national, and global levels and does not cause damage to other ecosystems.” The goal of SFM practices is to achieve a balance between the preservation of healthy, diverse forestry and meeting of increasing consumer demands for hardwood lumber and other forest products and benefits.
According to an assessment performed by the U.S. Renewable Resources Planning Act, not only are U.S. hardwood forests steadily growing, but forest management practices are continually promoting the continuation of healthy, diverse forests. According to the 2000 Assessment (pdf), over the second half of the twentieth century, harvesting levels in the U.S. have remained below the level of new growth, while the number of hardwoods standing has doubled.
A responsible hardwood lumber supplier will be able to account for the legality and environmental factors in the the origin of the lumber that they sell. The lumber professionals at J. Gibson McIlvain have done their research and can assure their customers that the wood they sell comes from the most compliant sources found across the globe. Read more about lumber import regulation at the McIlvain.com blog.
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