Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Local "Green" Builder Implicated in Destruction of Rainforests

strike one against the eco-yuppies.

author: Rainforest Relief e-mail: j.lockwood@rainforestrelief.org
Please help Rainforest Relief help fight logging of old-growth, tropical rainforests. Below is an action alert with more information about the use of destructively harvested rainforest woods by a Portland developer, and what you can do about it.
Destructively harvested tropical hardwoods - most likely including llegally logged woods - are being used in the interiors of at least two of Hoyt Street Properties' Pearl District condominium developments that are being marketed for their "green" features. These materials, more scorched earth than green, include the mahogany lobby in The Metropolitan, and the "ebony" cabinets and "mahogany" flooring at The Encore.

The wood used in the "ebony" kitchen cabinet veneers is actually a wood from West African rainforests called "obeche" that is coming Cameroon, West Africa. Fully half of all logging in Cameroon is illegal, with serious damage to forests, watersheds, and wildlife. Hoyt claims that the obeche wood they are using for the cabinet veneer comes from responsible sources. They have no proof of this, other than the word of the veneer manufacturer. Cameroon does not have sufficient resources to monitor its forestry concessions, and independent reports have iidentified issues with the sustainability of operations by Alpi, the concession holder and mill operator. More information countering their claims this is available on our website at http://www.rainforestrelief.org/Campaigns/Developers/Hoyt_Street_Properties.html

Hoyt can't even make a claim of sustainability for the mahogany wood. In Brazil and Peru, the leading suppliers of Latin American mahogany, approximately 60-80% of all logging is done illegally, often in nature reserves or on lands of indigenous people. Damage from logging is combined with construction of logging roads, which then allow forest destruction by ranchers and farmers. Latin American mahogany, unless taken from second-growth forests according to certification procedures of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), is one of the most destructive materials on Earth. Hoyt Street Properties is not using mahogany that is certified under FSC, according to its architect at Boora Architects.

Hoyt has declined several entreaties from Rainforest Relief to stop using tropical woods and develop a rainforest-safe wood use policy. With the high impacts of rainforest logging on biodiversity, carbon storage, and indigenous people, Hoyt is undoing much of the good that it does using other "green" building practices.

Please contact Hoyt Street Properties and ask them to stop using tropical woods in all developments:
Ms. Tiffany Sweitzer, CEO
Hoyt Street Properties
809 NW 11th Ave.
Portland, OR 97209
Phone: (503) 227-6677 Fax: (503) 227-0147
Email: TiffanyS@hoytstreetproperties.com

Please also contact Boora Architects and ask them to no longer specify tropical hardwoods such as mahogany and obeche:

We will also be flyering at Hoyt's real estate office in the near future; please send us an email if you would like to see the announcement. Thanks for helping to save Earth's rainforests.

homepage: http://www.rainforestrelief.org/Campaigns/Developers/Hoyt_Street_Properties.html
phone: 503-236-3031