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A new era of 'good wood'

Vancouver Island's Clayoquot Sound. Manitoba's boreal forests. The Central Avalon Peninsula of Newfoundland. These picturesque locales have served as the battlegrounds over the controversy of clearcutting — the logging practice that strips a forest bare by cutting every single tree down. On one side are the environmentalists. On the other, logging companies. In the middle are native people. The fate of Canada's old-growth forests and the forestry industry as a whole rests in the balance in the 'war of the woods.'

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A move is afoot to settle the controversy between protesters and logging companies. Forest Certification is a growing consumer movement that has put intense pressure on the logging companies to stop clearcutting. Only timber that meets the stringent standards established by the Forest Stewardship Council becomes certified, ensuring the consumer they are buying wood that was ecologically harvested. And as the CBC's Marketplace investigates, more and more retailers like Home Depot are making the switch to 'good wood.'
. The Forest Stewardship Council's website describes Forest Certification as "the process by which the performance of on-the-ground forestry operations are assessed against a predetermined set of standards." The Forest Stewardship Council's internationally recognized labelling scheme for timber and other wood products guarantees the consumer that the product is 'certified,' meaning that it comes from a properly managed forest, and not from a forest that has been clearcut.

. The Forest Stewardship Council's Principles and Criteria for Forest Management calls for independent, FSC-accredited auditors to monitor forest operations to ensure they are using selective cutting methods. If the wood meets the FSC's stringent standards, it is stamped with the FSC's trademark logo, enabling the company to market it as 'certified wood.'

. MacMillan Bloedel took out major ads in newspapers across the country in 1994 after Scott Paper UK cancelled a $5 million account with the Canadian logging company. Scott Paper UK cancelled the account after being threatened with an economic boycott by Greenpeace over MacMillan Bloedel's clearcutting practices.
Medium: Television
Program: Marketplace
Broadcast Date: Jan. 2, 2001
Guest(s): John Cathro, Chris Hatch, Alan Knight, Kenton Martin, Tim McGinnis, Andy Shaw, Richard Slaco, Annette Vershuren
Host: Jacquie Perrin
Reporter: Erica Johnson
Duration: 10:51

Last updated: November 9, 2012

Page consulted on September 10, 2014

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