Our Environmental Practices
We pride ourselves in selecting only legally harvested wood products. We require our suppliers to be Forest Stewardship Council certified or
to be certified under the source country's laws.
We offer more certified flooring than any other retailer on the web. Both our Paraguay Collection and our Engineered
Collections are certified.
Our Brazil Collection is certified by government rules through the Brazilian Institute of the Environment and
National Parks (IBAMA). The Brazilian government has made enormous strides in the fight against illegal logging.
And now with recent passage of The Lacey Act by the US government, all imported products must have proof that they
came from legal sources.
Tropical Forestry Considerations
Tropical logging in the Amazon is not clear cutting. Because the Amazon forest is the most heterogeneous tropical forest in the
world, selective harvesting is the only way to log a tropical forest.
Clear-cutting happens when land is cleared for farming or ranching. For timber extraction, selective harvesting of between
20 and 200 trees per 1000 acres is the maximum allowance in the Amazon region.
The greatest danger to the Amazon currently is the expansion of agricultural areas to grow food crops and raise cattle.
In order for South American farmers to cultivate the land for crops or cattle, clear cutting must be done. Government
certification systems require land management plans which are based on selective and sustainable logging practices.
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Since the local people need a way to get value from their land, logging can provide an incentive not to convert
the tropical forest to agricultural use.
Logging companies must submit detailed forest management plans in order to extract timber. Each area
is divided up into sections and trees are identified by specie. With the assistance of GPS, detailed maps
can be created on computers and by hand. Seed trees of each specie are left so that natural regeneration may take place.
Trees that are under certain sizes are also left in place so that they may be cut in the next logging cycle in 20 to 30 years.
Selective logging in the Amazon is the best way to add value to the standing forest resource. People that live in the
Amazon need to use the forest resource for their livelihood. By supporting wood products from the Amazon, we can actually help
save the rain forest rather than allowing it be cut down for agricultural uses.