When it comes to the logging practices of South American hardwoods, there has always been a lot of concern. Most consumers worry that it’s not done legally, sustainably, or without any thoughts about the impact on the environment. Over the years, many organizations claim logging is detrimental to the Rainforest and the species that inhabit it. This is why it is so important to know what we do, and to understand that it’s not a negative practice, but actually a positive one.
In Brazil, where most of the logging of South American hardwoods takes place, there are extremely strict laws that must be followed in order to harvest ANY lumber. When a company decides they want to harvest trees, they must go before IBAMA, which is the Brazilian equivalent of the EPA in America, and present to the board their plans. The board, in turn, gives the company a plot of land that they work out of for the next twenty years.
Over the next twenty years, the logging company divides that plot of land into twenty parts, and each year they work in one specific part. Before they can log a single tree, they must survey each and every tree. They take their records to board again. The board overlooks their report, then returns it with the marked trees that can be logged for lumber.
Over 60% of deforestation in the Amazon comes from Cattle Ranches. Raising cattle is the biggest industry in Brazil, and when ranchers need to make room for grazing cattle, they have no other choice than to burn down the forest. Millions of trees are lost, without being able to use them for other purposes. The logging industry actually places value on the rainforest, protects it from slashing and burning, and supplies jobs for the local economies.
Buying South American hardwood helps the environment, more than it hurts it. Think about it, if we aimlessly logged the rainforest until there are no trees left, what kind of position would that put us in? We would be out of business. This is why it’s extremely important we cultivate the rainforest carefully. We care about the rainforest just as much as you do, and we want to see it flourish.