In our last article, we started looking at some of the ways everyday people, either at the consumer or supplier end of the lumber industry, could help to keep our forestry practices sustainable both now and in the future. Not only does maintaining healthy forests help protect the environment, but lumber industry leaders of today also recognize the benefits which healthy forests offer to them as well. That’s because they rely on those forests to produce quality wood to keep their industry going strong years into the future. The days of disregarding the environment are largely over, at least for reputable dealers.
If Quality Wood Goes Down in Value, Forests Face an Uncertain Future
Why does your local lumber dealership feel like they can afford to charge more for certain varieties of wood? Isn’t it because the consumer places more value on those species of wood? For example, you wouldn’t expect to buy Oak, Cherry, Walnut, and Ash boards at the same price as you would Fir or Hemlock. Why not? It’s because those in the industry recognize customers are willing to pay more for wood that’s of better quality for more applications. If enough of the public can be discouraged from buying these top-quality woods, maintaining forests is going to become less of a priority.
Are Logging Bans the Answer for Protecting our Forests?
In the past, some people who were especially alarmed by the damage caused by unsustainable early lumber harvesting practices would try to get the government to pass logging bans. Though probably very well-intentioned, these laws could prove to be disastrous to our forests. Even the most altruistic, environmentally friendly companies won’t have an incentive to help protect land that won’t yield them any kind of profitable product. It sounds good, but it just isn’t practical.
Regulation and Management is the Key to Sustainable Forest Growth
According to a number of industry experts, logging bans have proven to be largely counterproductive. Instead of taking these types of misguided and drastic measures to try to protect forests, we should try a more realistic and effective strategy. Lawmakers, environmentalists, and lumber industry leaders should continue the process of implementing and enforcing thoughtful, research-based regulations and sustainable management strategies.
Want to do Your Part? Continue Buying Quality Lumber!
As a consumer, you can help to maintain our forests simply by continuing to shop for quality lumber. The more the lumber demand rises, the more important it will be for those in the industry to make sure they maintain a sustainable source of supply.
Always Do Your Homework to Make Sure You’re Working with Reputable Dealers
Of course, there are always shady business people out there in every industry whose unscrupulous ways can damage the reputation of their entire industry. That’s why it’s especially important to make sure that you’re only buying lumber from a reputable dealer who gets their materials from sustainable, law-abiding sources. Ask your lumber dealer where they get their products. Find out who their supply companies are to see if they’re selling only sustainably sourced wood. If they’re not, find a different dealer. If they are, continuing to buy their products will help those companies to thrive as well as take business away from those who aren’t compliant with sustainability regulations.