The United States imports a lot of timber from all over the world. However, 10% of that may be illegally harvested. This means many trees are being taken from the wild without proper permits or paperwork. These trees are then sold to companies who use them to make products like furniture, buildings, and paper. If you’re concerned about the legality of the wood you’re buying, it’s essential to research and check the source.
Why is illegal timber trading bad?
Illegal timber trading is wrong for many reasons.
- It damages the environment. Timber harvesting destroys forests and removes valuable resources from the earth. It also creates dangerous working conditions for the people who work in the forestry industry. Illegal logging often takes place in environmentally sensitive areas, which means that it can cause severe damage to rivers, lakes, and other natural resources.
- Illegal timber trading is bad for the economy. The illegal trade of wood drives up the cost of legal timber products. This makes it difficult for businesses and homeowners to afford quality wood products. It also increases the demand for illegal wood products, contributing to increased violence and corruption in some countries.
- Illegal timber trading disregards human rights. Logging without proper permits can include illegal labor and human rights violations. People deprived of their right to a safe environment and fair wages risk becoming victims of human trafficking or other forms of exploitation.
What kind of wood is illegal to import?
Illegal timber refers to any wood that has not been approved by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and practices that violate the Lacey Act. This means that the wood has been illegally obtained, typically from rainforest areas that have been destroyed. In some instances, a tree may have been treated with dangerous chemicals after being cut down.