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Protecting the environment by providing legal services for forest cases of statewide significance

Protecting the environment by providing legal services for forest cases of statewide significance.

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Supporting Credible Forest Certification Systems

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WFLC is supporting credible forest certification systems that advance responsible forest management and protect working forest ecosystems.
  • May 29, 2013 -- On behalf of ForestEthics and Greenpeace, the Washington Forest Law Center today filed an extensive complaint against the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) in the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).  The complaint alleges that SFI violates multiple provisions of the FTC’s revised “Green Guides,” which the FTC released in October 2012.  This is the second time that WFLC has filed a complaint against SFI in the FTC; after WFLC filed the first complaint in September 2009, the FTC chose not to take direct enforcement action against SFI but, instead, revised its Green Guides to state more clearly when and how a so-called “certification” entity can market itself as an “independent, non-profit public charity.”  Learn more.

  • October 2009 -- On behalf of Sierra Club, WFLC filed a complaint against Weyerhaeuser challenging the company’s “green” forest practices conducted in Southwest Washington, which are certified under the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) certification system.  The complaint alleges that Weyerhaeuser violated several of SFI’s environmental standards when it conducted logging and roadbuilding on extremely steep and unstable slopes.  During a storm in December 2007, many of these slopes produced massive landslides which delivered large quantities of wood and sediment to rivers and streams, exacerbating flooding that damaged private property and public resources.  Learn more.

  • September 2009 -- On behalf of ForestEthics, WFLC prepared and filed complaints against the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) forest certification system with the Federal Trade Commission and the Internal Revenue Service.  The FTC complaint alleges that SFI engages in deceptive and misleading national advertising; the IRS complaint reports SFI for potentially inappropriately using a tax-exempt “public charity” for funding, operating, and marketing its private forest certification label.  Learn more.

  • Why Have We Taken On SFI?  Read WFLC director Peter Goldman’s statement.