Idaho-based timber firm Boise (formerly Boise Cascade) has announced to its employees and customers that it will cease harvesting trees over 200 years old in large, untouched wilderness areas, the New York Times reported.
Several high-profile Boise customers, including Kinko's, L.L. Bean, and the University of Notre Dame, had cancelled their contracts with the firm in the months preceding the decision in protest of its old-growth harvesting practices. Boise spokesperson Mike Moser, however, told the New York Times that the actions of these companies played only a minor role in the decision. "Did these companies influence our decision? Maybe, but probably not as much as the fact that there's not much old growth available anymore," the article quotes Moser saying.
Michael Klein, a spokesperson for the American Forest and Paper Association, calls the pressure on the timber industry to preserve remaining old growth "blackmail" in the article. It quotes him as saying, "As more and more retailers fall victim to this extortion campaign, it could definitely have an impact on the industry." Michael Brune, campaigns director for the Rainforest Action League, told the Times he believes Boise's decision will have an impact. "This will prove to be one of the nails in the coffin for the old-growth-logging industry," he says.