FSC is coming in for some serious criticism in Massachusetts. Earlier this month, Massachusetts Forest Watch produced a 50-page report detailing the damage that logging is doing to State forests.
Subsequently, the Boston Channel’s Team 5 Investigates produced a video explaining how the state Department of Conservation and Recreation, which is supposed to protect forests, is actually cutting them down. Click on the image below to watch the video:
The transcript is available here.
The Massachusetts State forests were certified by SCS in 2004. As FSC-Watch pointed out almost a year ago, the certification was issued in breach of FSC’s rules.
On the programme, the Boston Channel’s journalist, Sean Kelly, interviews James McCaffrey of the Sierra Club:
James McCaffrey at the Massachusetts chapter of the Sierra Club said it’s clear that some of those rules have been broken. “It does not look good. It looks like there are some problematic cuts and it looks like DCR [the Department of Conservation and Recreation] has a lot of work to do if they’re going to set an example,” said McCaffrey.
McCaffrey said the Forest Stewardship Council also has a lot of work to do if it wants to set an example. However, despite those concerns, the Sierra Club has not called for a halt on the cutting.
“Why haven’t environmental groups thrown up a big red flag to what’s been happening?” asked Kelly. “Because us having declared our support for FSC at this time makes it difficult for us to turn around and say you know we don’t support it anymore,” answered McCaffrey.
So, the Sierra Club can do nothing about the destruction of State forests in Massachusetts because it’s certified by FSC. FSC has become what the loggers wanted it to be all along – greenwash. Maybe, just maybe, it’s time for the Sierra Club to question whether supporting FSC means that it is impossible to criticise FSC. And if so, then perhaps they should consider leaving FSC in order to do something about this:
What is certain is that if FSC certification is to mean anything other than a rubber stamp for business as usual for the logging industry, it is time for FSC to withdraw this certificate. Clearly it should never have been issued in the first place. Then FSC should withdraw SCS’s permission to issue certificates. Unfortunately, none of this seems likely to happen: “A spokesperson for FSC told Team 5 Investigates it’s confident that the state is in compliance with its standards.” So that’s all right, then.