Dogwood Alliance Statement on International Paper’s Sale of 5.1 Million Acres

Dogwood Alliance Statement on IP Land Sale:

This morning, announced the sale of 5.1 Million acres of its land holdings, mostly in the Southern United States. This sale of nearly 85% of their land to Resource Management Services, LLC and TimberStar comes on the tail of the sale of 218,000 acres or less than 3% of the holdings last week to The Nature Conservancy and the Conservation Fund.

Below are some key points for consideration around this sale:

• Southern forests are some of the most biologically diverse in the world, but have been exploited for generations by the paper industry.
• Large-scale clearcuts and millions of acres of sterile pine plantations now scar the Southern landscape.
• The sale of 218,000 acres as part of a conservation transaction represents a good first step towards protecting the endangered forests of the South and should be applauded.
• managed its lands under the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) certification scheme, which is a misguided and mislabeled program that allows for logging of endangered forests, continued conversion of native forests to sterile pine plantations and large-scale clearcutting.
• Resource Management Services and TimberStar plan to continue operating under the SFI principals.
• IP’s sale is part of a continuing trend amongst the timber industry to divest their landholding. Georgia-Pacific and Weyerhaeuser have already sold most or all of their land and companies such as Bowater have announced the intent to follow suit.
• IP should consider including in the land sale stipulations that avoid further conversion of native forests to sterile plantations and an end to logging of the most ecologically sensitive lands.
• Bowater, one of the largest paper producers in the South, announced last year, a commitment to stop purchasing fiber from native forests that are converted to plantations after 2007. can and should follow suit.
• There is an increasing demand from the marketplace for sustainably made paper products and a number of Fortune 500 companies, including Office Depot, Staples, and Kinko’s have strong environmental paper policies in place.
• Southern forests have long been exploited and need a break from business-as-usual forestry practices.

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