Selective logging encourages conservation.
When considering your next building project, we know you are concerned about the sustainability of the materials you plan on using. While you might be considering any number of recently-developed green products, we want you to know that all of J Gibson McIlvain’s lumber products are also perfectly sustainable choices.
Many people believe that logging companies are still using the archaic practices of the late 1800s and early 1900s, but this simply is not true. Abusing the forests of the world is wildly unsustainable, and we are doing our best to undo the damage caused by the clear cutting of the past. From a purely business standpoint, a lumber company like J Gibson McIlvain has every reason to protect the forests of the world because they’re what we depend on for our livelihood. We have been in this business for over 200 years, and we want to stay in business. Buying from companies who clear cut our Earth’s forests is the exact opposite of what we want.
To prevent forest abuse, some countries have instituted logging bans. We know that these countries have the best intentions, but they’re slowly learning (too slowly, as far as we’re concerned!) what we’ve known for a long time: that logging bans generally cause more harm than good.
It sounds counter intuitive, but it’s true. In many areas of the world, landowners depend on logging companies and lumber wholesalers to make a living. So when their home country institutes a logging ban, these individuals have no choice but to find a new way to make money off of their land. Believe it or not, for many of these people, the only logical choice is to completely burn their forests to make room for cattle grazing. So now, instead of a responsible lumber dealer selectively logging trees in an environmentally-friendly manner, the countries that have instituted logging bans are left with scorched patches of ground where trees won’t likely grow again for many, many years.
These landowners have little choice. Think about it this way: You are a dairy farmer, and your only source of income is the milk that your cows supply. The government suddenly tells you that you may no longer produce milk to sell. What would you do? You’re left with a surplus of cows that make you no money, and you have a family to feed. Like the landowners who burn their forests to make room for cattle fields, you’d probably get rid of your cows and start farming something else.
You’d also have to fire the staff that takes care of your cows. And the companies that bottle and sell the milk would shut down. It may seem like a flippant example, but this is exactly what is happening all over the world. Logging bans are introduced, sawmills shut down, jobs are lost, and landowners are forced to figure out another way to make money off of their land. Instead of logging and being able to sell for profit, they burn the land to make room for crops or animals. So while on the surface, logging bans might seem like a good way to save forests, in reality, they’re accomplishing the exact opposite.
In fact, clearing forests for the purpose of raising cattle is responsible for up to 70 percent of Amazon deforestation. The second, up to 20 percent, is for subsistence farming.
The only solution for this is to have strict laws for selective logging. This process, which selects only mature trees from forests to be harvested, is very sustainable. In fact, the removal of much larger trees encourages smaller trees to grow larger, speeding up re-growth. Wulf Killmann, Director of the Forest Products and Economics Division at FAO explains, “Selective logging can sustainably deliver timber with minimum detrimental impact on forests. If forests do not generate income, forest owners tend to convert it to other land uses, which is worse than selective logging.”
Continuing to use wood products from these areas means that landowners have more incentive to keep their forests intact, rather than burning the trees on their land to make room for other forms of income. This, in turn, encourages conservation so forests can continue to sustain us.
The best way to be sure you are buying a sustainable wood is to buy from a reputable company that knows its suppliers. Buying quality wood from J Gibson McIlvain means that you are doing your part in forest conservation during your next building project. J Gibson McIlvain has over 200 years of experience in the lumber industry, and they personally visit each and every location to foster a healthy relationship with their suppliers and to ensure that responsible foresting practices are being adhered to.
From the McIlvain Lumber Company blog: