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Georgia-Pacific Commits to Protecting 11 Endangered Forests in the U.S. Southeast

Georgia-Pacific Commits to Protecting 11 Endangered Forests in the U.S. Southeast

Several environmental groups are cheering today over paper giant Georgia-Pacific’s commitment not to purchase timber from environmentally sensitive areas and to discourage landowners from clearing hardwood forests to plant pine plantations. The commitment comes after a multi-year campaign by the Natural Resources Defense Council, Dogwood Alliance, and Rainforest Action Network.

Georgia-Pacific “worked with the environmental groups and scientists to identify 11 Endangered Forests and Special Areas totaling 600,000 acres in the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Eco-Region, as well as 90 million acres of natural hardwood forests in the Southern region. Endangered Forests and Special Areas in other regions will be mapped in a similar process, over the coming years,” explained the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Dogwood Alliance in a press release.

“No other U.S. company has demonstrated this level of initiative in mapping unique forests across such a broad region,” said NRDC Senior Resource Specialist Debbie Hammel. “Through this process, [Georgia-Pacific] has proven that — by harnessing scientific advances and seeking conservation guidance — corporations can help protect unique places without sacrificing profitability.”

The first designated Endangered Forests and Special Areas span North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and Georgia. The Southern Appalachians are home to more than 10,000 plant and animal species, making it a global hotspot for biodiversity. Millions of acres of this priceless ecosystem have been converted to pine plantations for wood and paper production.

Danna Smith, executive director of Dogwood Alliance, notes: “Our forests are not completely out of harm’s way until other companies also agree to protect them. We will continue to urge the companies that are lagging behind to take action to protect unique places on the Southern landscape and end the conversion of natural hardwood forests to plantations.”

Associated Press Reporter Ray Henry makes a critical point: “The policy is nonbinding, so Georgia-Pacific faces no penalties other than possible embarrassment should it fail to meet its goals. Company executives will not call the policy an agreement, and they are still deciding how it will be enforced.”

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Appalacian Trail photo by flickr user dmott9

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48 comments

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3:42AM PDT on Aug 1, 2011

Trees and other plants are very important. A world without them and without animals is it that what we want? Hopefully not. In my case, i love trees, plants and animals.
Other animals and plants have to go only because "we" humans do not want to share the world with other life forms, these life forms "we" would not eat (vegetarian food is not a bad idea, or eating with conscience as the so called primitive cultures did and still do, if they still exist. No meat/fish every day). "We" destroy everything around us and "we" forget, that everything is important to survive, too.

As little child i thought that rain is when God and the angels cry - because "we" humans have forgotten that we need this "intelligence", someone who could help... if "we" hadn't turned away for many centuries ago...

"Only when the last tree has been cut down; Only when the last river has been poisoned; Only when the last fish has been caught; Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten." (Native American proverb)

"We have learned to fly the air like birds and swim the sea like fish, but we have not yet learned the simple art of living together as brothers." (Martin Luther King)

7:54PM PST on Nov 21, 2010

I wish more paper companies would follow suit..

5:47PM PST on Nov 21, 2010

Now, this is news - provided it is trus to word.

7:28PM PST on Nov 19, 2010

Good news!

7:08PM PST on Nov 18, 2010

Georgia Pacific makes toilet paper, paper towels, kleenex, etc. etc. We feed their need to cut down trees... or they feed our need to wipe our rears, blow our noses and make mess clean ups easier.
Do they use recycled paper products to make their products? I wonder...

3:11PM PST on Nov 18, 2010

Good news. I just hope they follow through. After all, this is a corporation we're talking about.

11:34AM PST on Nov 18, 2010

yay!

9:58AM PST on Nov 18, 2010

Thanks for the good news...hope they keep their word.

6:05AM PST on Nov 18, 2010

Alec S., I love the way you phrased that. GP is certainly getting some good press over this.

I agree with the skeptics' points and hope the environmental groups that negotiated the agreement are able to find a way to get some permanent guarantees and consequences added. Otherwise, it's falls on them to show GP is living up to its side of the deal and their only leverage is bad press in the future.

Thanks for all the comments. If you like the article, please share it with your favorite social network (buttons right under the picture).

5:51AM PST on Nov 18, 2010

Step in the right direction.

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