Green Diamond Exposed as National Case Study in “Greenwash”

By
Thursday, November 8th, 2012

The active summer of clearcut logging on Green Diamond private forestland holdings has raised the eyebrows and ire of many North Coast residents, as well as visitors to the area. The phones at the EPIC office often ring with questions, observations, and complaints about industrial activities from many different corners of our bioregion. The intensity of clearcut logging on Green Diamond lands in Northern Humboldt County has been the subject of several phone conversations with concerned locals phoning into the EPIC office with questions and concerns about what was going on “back there.”

Yet, it wasn’t until we had new photos from the air of Green Diamond holdings in upper Maple Creek and in the upper North Fork of the Mad River that we were able to fully confirm what many residents had been calling in to ask about–that the hardcore Green Diamond logging of the summer of 2012 was almost exclusively based in extensive fresh clearcutting of the redwood forest ecosystem.

We felt it was urgent to share the newest images of Green Diamond forest destruction with the broad community of people all around the state, the country, and the world that have communicated their interest in protecting the redwood temperate rainforests of the North Coast of California.

The photos rapidly caught the attention of our friends and colleagues at ForestEthics. ForestEthics is spearheading a national campaign to expose the “greenwash” of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) certification scheme. When we told them our story of Green Diamond’s SFI certified redwood forest destruction, the team at ForestEthics was, without a better way of saying it, absolutely disgusted. They decided to turn that disgust with SFI certified redwood forest destruction into action, and promptly published an action alert that features Green Diamond’s SFI certified clearcuts as a national case study in “greenwash.” 

In a blog post titled “Seeing Red: Green Diamond and SFI Greenwash Forest Destruction” the scandal of the SFI certified clearcuts of redwood forest on Green Diamond holdings in Northern California is denounced as an “attempt to mislead us when we as consumers are trying to do the right thing.”  This statement gets to the core of the insidious nature of Green Diamond’s misrepresentation of their forestry practices as “sustainable”–most consumers do not want to pay for forest products that come from destructive clearcut forestry. It is only through massive PR (i.e. “greenwash”) that Green Diamond is able to hide the reality of the impacts that their forestry practices have on endangered species and the most endangered temperate rainforest ecosystem on the planet, the redwood forest. The kind of national exposure that this recent ForestEthics action will give to the situation on the ground in the redwood forest will assist in unmasking Green Diamond and SFI as partners in “greenwash,” and help consumers across the country develop the skills necessary to decipher (and avoid) the destruction that is behind the false eco-labels.

Check out the ForestEthics blog and their new action — Seeing Red: Green Diamond and SFI Greenwash Forest Destruction — and stay tuned for more news from EPIC’s Industrial Forestry Reform Program.