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Wetlands Works Newsletter September 2000

Wow, look at the 84 Lumber article below… Now we're winning victories just by threatening days of action! Come by and visit and find out what we're up to and what you can do to help.
-The staff at Wetlands Environmental and Social Justice Activism Center

Victorious Rainforest Activists Cancel Protests at 84 Lumber Outlets in Cliffwood and Oakland, NJ Retailer To Ban Wood From Endangered Forests

Two days prior to a national day of protest targeting 84 Lumber stores that was to include demonstrations at the 84 Lumber outlets in Cliffwood and Oakland, the company announced its new policy to phase out the sales of wood from endangered forests. Forest advocates hailed 84 Lumber's announcement as a win for both the Pennsylvania-based company and the world's forests. This announcement, which follows a similar move by major lumber retailer Lowe's earlier this month, makes 84 Lumber the seventh of the top ten Do-It-Yourself chains to commit in recent months to a phase-out of wood from endangered forests.

"84 Lumber's announcement is yet another signal that the logging of old growth forests will soon be only an ugly memory of the past," explained Mike Brune, Old Growth Campaign Director of the San Francisco-based Rainforest Action Network, a leading group in the campaign to reform 84 Lumber's forest practices. "Both consumers and increasingly major wood retailers clearly find continued old growth logging distasteful and unnecessary."

84 Lumber, the country's fourth largest home improvement retailer, is currently a major purchaser of wood from the Great Bear Rainforest of British Columbia and also sells redwood from endangered forest areas of California, including the Santa Cruz Mountains. Under the company's new commitment, environmentalists anticipate that wood sales from these areas will be phased out.

"Consumers' concern for forests is leading retailers to change what they will and will not sell. As a result, the marketplace is quickly losing interest in old growth wood," said Brune. "This means that industry stragglers such as Boise Cascade and Canada's International Forest Products must catch up or be left behind in today's quickly changing marketplace."

While forest protection advocates welcomed 84 Lumber's new policy, they expressed concern that only one of the four certification systems endorsed by 84 is accepted by environmental activists: the Forest Stewardship Council. The three other certification systems do not set acceptable standards for forestry practices on the ground, according to leading advocates for forest protection. According to Wetlands Preserve's Adam Weissman, "84 lumber has taken a first step towards sparing our planet's old growth forests. We will be monitoring them closely to ensure that they fulfill and expand the commitment that they have made."

This victory for forests comes after months of organizing by environmental organizations including Free the Planet!, American Lands Alliance, and the Student Environmental Action Coalition. The Activism Center at Wetlands Preserve and Rainforest Relief have coordinated efforts in the New York City area. A national day of protest targeting 84 Lumber in more than thirty cities to urge the company to adopt a phase-out of wood from threatened forests was scheduled for Saturday, August 26.

Le Chien Pet Store Owner Now in Negotiations

After weeks of protest by Wetlands and other animal rights organizations for its sale of puppies from puppy mills, the owner of Le Chien pet store was brought to negotiations. Animal activists from PETA and In Defense of Animals met with Lisa Gilfourd, the owner of Le Chien pet store, her lawyer, and her accountant. She still refuses to see the connection between her selling puppies and the puppy mill industry and the effect on the millions of homeless dogs killed every year.

She denied ever having purchased puppies from Nielsen Farms in Kansas, which was exposed on the Dateline NBC special, even though on the show she talks about Amy Nielsen as an old friend and that her dogs were well taken care of. She continues to assert that her dogs do not come from puppy mills and she does not sell sick dogs.

Her lawyer gave some ridiculous analogies and philosophical jargon that had nothing to do with the issue and felt we were asking for too radical a change and encouraged us to comprise. For example, Lisa would ensure that each dog sold would be spayed/neutered. Since that will be the law soon anyway, this means nothing and of course she cannot guarantee that the purchasers would do that.

The activists will now draft a letter to her and her lawyer giving them until early next week to make a decision. We will not protest to allow them time to make a decision, but if she decides to continue selling puppies, the protest will be on for Thursday, September 7. Call us at (212) 966-4831 to find out if the demonstration is on, and to get details on time and location.