The following is a SPECIAL REPORT
How Clear Cutting Suppliers of Ipe & Other Hardwoods Set Back The Lumber Industry & What You Can Do To Stop Them
PART 1 – PROGRESS HAS BEEN MADE
Over the past few years, thanks to efforts from trade organizations, governments, and organizations like the Forest Stewardship Council, the lumber industry has come a long way when it comes to how trees are cultivated and harvested. These efforts continue to produce many new innovations and greatly reduce the overall impact that forestry has on our environment. Make no mistake, with the rise of managed forests and the high-quality yields that they produce, many lumber companies, including Advantage Trim & Lumber, are taking great pride in being able to provide premium grade materials to the public while also preserving our environment.
After all, even though lumber is a renewable resource, what sense does it make to literally pillage the land without taking care of it? Unlike the cattle industry, or even the energy industry, lumber companies, if they want the industry to survive have a vested interest and clear incentive to practice and promote sustainable forestry practices.
The foundation for managed forestry arose out of a simple dilemma that most common sense based lumber companies and consumers clearly understand. Basically, the dilemma is this: To seek out and clear cut a hardwood like ipe in the wild was to basically erase over 100 years of growth. It is estimated that an ipe tree that grows in the wild will take over 100 years to fully mature. This is the case only because of other factors in the wild that affect growth. For instance, a single ipe tree in the wild has to contend with surrounding trees for light and water. Other factors that slow down an ipe trees maturity include weeds, vines, and other plants that are all vying for the same resources.
With the creation of managed forestry, the theory is that, by allowing these trees to grow with little impediments, you can speed up their growth and also greatly reduce deforestation. One such managed forestry method is to replace what you harvest. Simply put, this practice entails that for every single tree that is cut down, a lumber company and/or mill must plant a number of trees. This way, the forest remains vibrant and healthy. To say that managed forestry has been an overriding success would be an understatement. It now takes between 15-30 years for an ipe tree to be safely harvested. And, as the industry continues to perfect the system, there are sure to be greater innovations that further increase the overall health of our eco-system.
HOWEVER, although it’s clear to us and many of our customers that taking care of the forest is in the best interest for all involved, there are still some lumber companies who’s only goal is to sell hardwood flooring and decking at the lowest cost using the lowest and most damaging methods.
PART 2 – SOME LUMBER SUPPLIERS PREFER TO SEND US BACK TO THE DARK AGES
These lumber companies want nothing more than to keep profits at the forefront of their agenda. By adopting “By Any Means Necessary” attitude towards business, they also set back the entire industry. The worst offense these corrupt lumber suppliers commit is clear-cutting. After years of trying to make progress and lead people away from plastic products and chemically treated materials that really harm both the environment and humans, we are now forced to once again, separate ourselves from their unscrupulous and selfish business practices. By clear-cutting acres of forests, these companies leave behind tons of waste, not to mention, a wake of devastation with no plan to replace or cultivate the newly pillaged land. They simply take what they want and leave.
The defense these companies claim is that they have the “cheapest decking” and that there are plenty of other good companies out there who will pick up the slack. The problem with that “reasoning” is that we all end up paying more when these methods are used. In addition, these destructive companies are also making a huge assumption that all you care about is price. They don’t take into consideration the shifting mindset that the general public is starting to have when it comes to the environment. After all, whoever thought that Whole Foods would be such a success and that Walmart would now be the leading supplier of organic products? Let’s also not underestimate the feeling we get when we purchase something. These companies also like to fool people by giving themselves a name that makes it sound like they are in the “eco-friendly wood” business. Quite frankly, it doesn’t matter what label they put on their company website. The more educated the consumer, the more discriminating they become when it comes to the products they buy.
When you consider the methods through which these deceitful suppliers procure their lumber, can you really feel confident using them? This may be me personally, but I would rather pay a premium to work with a reputable company that has responsible policies and procedures than work with a company that kind of sales mentality.
PART 3 – WHAT CAN YOU DO?
The best thing we can all do is to continue to educate yourself. It’s not enough to simply shop online for the best price. Ask the right questions to the lumber suppliers themselves should help you make a clear decision. Here are some questions to consider:
- How was your inventory of ipe decking cultivated?
- Do you have an environmental policy?
- Are you members of the Forest Stewardship Council?
- Do they offer certified FSC wood materials?
Another thing you can do is bookmark this blog. From here on out, it will start to feature more in depth coverage of what managed forestry is all about and why, consumers, businesses, and even other lumber companies must continue to adopt, sell, and buy products that are produced using sustainable methods.
PART 4 – Conclusion
Ultimately, there’s a reason why Advantage Trim & Lumber Co., Inc. is dedicated to this issue. We take great responsibility for the land that our products come from. We believe that as more and more companies continue to drown out those other shameless companies, the market demand for truly responsible forestry will become the definitive standard and the only way to do business. Once that happens, we will all be better for it.
If you would like to learn more, contact Advantage Trim & Lumber Co., Inc. today.