Plum Creek’s Illegal Logging Certified as Sustainable

Plum-Creek-Illegal-LoggingIn many states it’s three strikes and you’re out. Harsh penalties for repeat offenders. But in Oregon, you can be cited eleven times in six years for violating laws meant to protect soil and water from clearcuts, slapped with trivial fines, and walk out the door to do it again. And despite your recklessness with the law, you can still win a sustainability seal of approval from the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI). As an organization that promotes sustainable brands as a way to reduce humanity’s footprint, CSE feels compelled to fight this flagrant abuse of green labeling.

The Center for Sustainable Economy has filed a formal complaint with the Sustainable Forest Initiative (SFI) for breaking its own rules by continuing to provide its seal of approval to Plum Creek Timberland, LP in Oregon despite a pattern of willful non-compliance with the law and clearcuts that have left extensive resource damage on the ground. “A sustainability certification should be reserved for practices that meet the highest standard of excellence, not those that warrant jail time,” said Dr. John Talberth, the Center’s President and Senior Economist. “Plum Creek and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative are doing a grave disservice to consumers and investors alike who want to make responsible buying and investment choices but are instead told that illegal logging is somehow good for the Earth.”

In the past six years, Plum Creek has received 11 civil penalties from the Oregon Department of Forestry for violations related to clearcut size, logging in riparian zones, and improper notifications of impending logging operations. Detailed satellite imagery provided by Google Earth and appended to the complaint shows that these illegal practices have left Plum Creek lands scarred by major landslides and streams filled with debris.

In its complaint, CSE has asked for an immediate suspension of SFI certification for Plum Creek, an investigation into the full extent of legal violations, and notifications to both the Federal Trade Commission and Securities and Exchange Commission about Plum Creek’s unwarranted use of the SFI label in connection with its Oregon operations. CSE has also asked SFI to disqualify Bureau Veritas Certification North America, Inc., as a credible SFI auditor of Plum Creek timberlands for failing to conduct due diligence in researching Plum Creek’s record of consistency with SFI principles or compliance with the law in Oregon.

For a copy of CSE’s Plum Creek Inconsistent Practices Complaint, click here to visit our project page.

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    2 thoughts on “Plum Creek’s Illegal Logging Certified as Sustainable

    1. leigh Mckeirnan

      I think Plum Creek did illegal logging up by Swift reservoir in the 90’s. A DNR forester said it was a travesty logging the giant old growth.
      I also think they might have connections with former Eagleridge and Waterfront recreation…Eagleridge did illegal logging across the country..bankrolled by Weyerhaeuser…I have Weyerhaeuser’s attorney Wallenfels letter admitting they bankrolled them behind us in the slide area in Kelso 94-98…He didn’t realize it was illegal to log slide areas…he kind of said …so what…somewhere I listed all the connections…I also had on file info in the Tacoma bankruptcy of Eagleridge back then..the trustee Russ Garrett of Bullivant Houser told me he’d file against me if I filed…Then he asked me if I didn’t feel sorry for them..logged 3 eagles’ nests red tailed hawks red salamander streams on and on…gian t owls….300 ft trees not logged 80 yrs ago..took aerial pics before logging I could go on and on

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    2. Mary Holbert

      I have always considered SFI certification to be a joke as I saw it on lumber that came from Boise Cascade. So if you really want SFI certification to be meaningful I suggest you boycott a lot more than Plum Creek. How about only allowing the certification for companies that actually exceed the forest practices acts ridiculously lenient standards?

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