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DECEMBER 7, 1998   5:29 PM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Rainforest Action Network
Mark Westlund: ranmedia@ran.org
Michael Brunn: mbrune@ran.org
 
The Debate Over Ending The Use Of Old Growth Wood Plays Out In City Planning Commissions; Home Depot Expansion Plans Challenged In Sacramento, CA, And Madison, WI
 
SAN FRANCISCO - December 7 - The national debate over the use and sales of wood old growth products is moving to a new forum. Regional planning commissions in both Sacramento, CA, and Madison, WI, are hearing testimony today that challenges expansion plans by do-it-yourself giant Home Depot. Home Depot, with over 700 stores in North America, is the world's largest retailer of old growth wood products.

In Madison, a key member of the city Plan Commission is working to prevent Home Depot from selling old growth wood products at two new stores slated for the area. The Commission votes on whether to approve Home Depot's expansion plans this evening. Commission Vice Chairman Stuart Levitan intends to attach conditions to site approvals that include asking Home Depot to phase out all old growth wood products, noting that a standard for new plans is that business operations cannot be detrimental to the general welfare. Levitan told the Capital Times newspaper "there are those who believe that the continuing destruction of old growth forests irreparably damages the general welfare."

In California, Rainforest Action Network's Old Growth Campaign director Michael Brune and Brian Vincent of American Lands Alliance will testify at the hearing of the Sacramento County Project Planning Commission, after meeting individually with Commission member Glen Delman. The public hearing on Home Depot's proposed store at Roseville & Antelope Roads in Sacramento is this afternoon at 5:30 PM, at the Board of Supervisors Chambers, 700 H Street, suite1450.

"In a time when only 22 percent of the world's original old growth forests remain, continuing the sales of old growth wood is simply barbaric," said Mr. Brune. "Whether you approach the issue economically, ecologically or ethically, it's just not a sound business practice to sell old growth wood."

Among the wide array of old growth wood products Home Depot carries are old growth luaan plywood from Southeast Asia, dowels and tools handles made of the old growth tropical wood ramin, mahogany from the Amazon, and lumber from the ancient temperate rainforests of British Columbia.

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