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JUNE 21, 1999  3:34 PM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT:
Rainforest Action Network
Mark Westlund: 415/398-4404
Enviros Concerned As Weyerhaeuser Purchases MacMillan Bloedel
 
"With its program of phasing out old growth clear-cuts, MacMillan Bloedel brought the world one step closer to ending all logging in the last remaining old growth forests. Weyerhaeuser must continue MB's plans or suffer the consequences." - Christopher Hatch, RAN Campaigns Director

SAN FRANCISCO - June 21 - News of Weyerhaeuser's purchase of British Columbia logging company MacMillan Bloedel has environmentalists across the US and Canada in a state of concerned anticipation. The sale came just days after MB signed a memorandum of understanding with environmental organizations and Canadian Indians not to log in pristine forest areas within the company's British Columbia holdings. Last year, MB instituted a new logging plan to phase out clear-cut logging in old growth forests. Weyerhaeuser has yet to comment on whether it will honor these commitments.

"Weyerhaeuser is teetering on a precipice," said Rainforest Action Network Campaigns Director Christopher Hatch. "If the company honors MB's commitment to lessening the strain on the Earth's last old growth forests, it could become the world's leader in ancient forest preservation. If it doesn't, Weyerhaeuser will have its market ripped apart by blockades, protests and high profile demonstrations the likes of which haven't been seen in decades."

"In a time when only 22 percent of the world's original old growth forests remain, continuing logging of old growth wood is simply barbaric," RAN's Hatch concluded. "Whether you approach the issue economically, ecologically or ethically, it's just not a sound business practice to cut down old growth forests."

In December 1998, 27 U.S. corporations - including IBM, Dell, Kinko's, Nike, 3M, Levi-Strauss, Mitsubishi Motors America, Mitsubishi Electric America, and others - announced their commitment to stop selling or using old growth wood. Europe's largest home improvement center, B&Q, has nearly completed removing old growth wood from its shelves.

Rainforest Action Network works to protect the rainforests and their inhabitants through education, grassroots organizing, and non-violent direct action.

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