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Boise and customers under fire for old growth destruction

October 29, 2002

Activists Confront Blockbuster, Borders and Eddie Bauer About Doing Business With Nation’s Largest Public Lands Logger!

WASHINGTON, DC-- Students and environmental activists across the country participated in a national “Day of Action” today to protest Boise’s outdated logging practices and confront its customers about doing business with America’s biggest destroyer of old growth forests. Boise refuses to heed public sentiment in support of wilderness and old growth protection and end its barbaric practices of buying and selling products made from endangered old growth forests and logging on U.S. public lands. Boise customers targeted for continuing to do business with Boise and contributing to the destruction of the world’s forests include Blockbuster Video, Borders Books and Eddie Bauer. Today’s Day of Action was organized by Rainforest Action Network (RAN), American Lands Alliance, National Forest Protection Alliance (NFPA), Sierra Student Coalition, Re-Think Paper, and Free the Planet!.

The national Day of Action is the latest move in a hard-hitting campaign against Boise for refusing to end its obsolete logging and distribution practices and adopt sustainable forestry principles. The demonstrations come on the heels of a series of contract cancellations by some of Boise’s most prominent customers including Washington Mutual, Levi-Strauss, L.L. Bean, University of Notre Dame and Patagonia. The campaign has made Boise the target of increasingly intense public criticism for failing to join more than 400 companies, including Home Depot, Lowe’s and Kinko’s in a pledge to stop selling products made from endangered forests.

“Boise’s business practices are so out of touch with current market values that its biggest customers have severed their business ties with the company,” said Martin Stephan, old growth campaigner, RAN. “Companies like Blockbuster, Borders and Eddie Bauer that are in business with Boise are in the business of old growth destruction. America’s biggest brands are making it clear that’s a place they don’t want to be.”

The demonstrations took place in more than 40 cities and universities across the country including Washington DC, Boston, MA, Spokane, WA, Chicago, IL, University of New Hampshire, Kent State University and the University of Oregon. The demonstrations included rallies, petition drives, informational skits, marches, tabling, call-ins to Boise’s corporate offices, meetings with schools’ purchasing administrators and presentations. Demonstrations took place at 20 Blockbuster, Borders and Eddie Bauer locations across the country.

Boise is the number one logger of forests on U.S. public lands and is America’s largest distributor of wood products from endangered, old growth forests throughout Indonesia, Canada, Chile, Central and South America, and Russia, and has been linked to human rights abuses in Guerrero, Mexico. Last year, Boise led the charge against the popular U.S. Roadless Policy, a measure that would have protected 58.5 million acres of America’s public wilderness areas and considered the most significant forest conservation measure of the last 100 years.

“As long as Boise continues outdated logging practices such as logging U.S. public lands, turning Chile’s endangered forests into pulp, and ripping 200 year old trees from the heart of the Amazon, it will lose its customers and earn its title as the logging industry dinosaur,” said Pat Rasmussen, America Lands Alliance.

There exists widespread public support for old growth forest preservation. According to the Los Angeles Times, 9 out of 10 Americans favor preserving our remaining wilderness, and a Yankelovich poll shows that nearly two-thirds of Americans support old growth forest protection. Most tellingly, the Los Angeles Times reported last April that 70 percent of consumers in traditional timber regions such as Oregon and Washington favor an end to old growth logging.

“Protecting the world’s old growth forests has become as American as baseball and apple pie,” said Jake Kreilick with the NFPA. “American consumers no longer tolerate the destruction of US public lands, and the world’s remaining old growth forests, and that sentiment is dramatically affecting the market.”

Specifically, RAN is calling on Boise to end its international old growth trade, phase out logging operations on U.S. public lands, and embrace the ecologically and socially responsible principles of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

More than three-quarters of the world's old growth forests have already been logged or degraded, much within the past three decades. In the United States, less than five percent of our original forests remain.

Contacts: Rainforest Action Network- Martin Stephan, 415-398-3303x335
American Lands Alliance- Anne Martin, 775-786-1658;
Pat Rasmussen, 509-548-7640
National Forest Protection Alliance- Jake Kreilick, 509-990-5719


Pat Rasmussen
American Lands Alliance
PO Box 154
Peshastin, WA 98847
Phone: 509-548-7640

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