OREGON - Plum Creek's logging practices are under fire by the Center for Sustainable Economy for what it claims is a "pattern of willful non-compliance with the law and clearcuts that have left extensive resource damage on the ground."

The Portland, OR-based watchdog group has filed a complaint with the Sustainable Forestry Initiative challenging the SFI certification granted to Plum Creek's operations in Oregon. One of the largest private landowners, Plum Creek owns approximately 6.8 million acres of timberlands throughout the United States. The company is the third largest landowner in Oregon, with forestland in nine counties, according to Plum Creek's website. Plum Creek also operates wood products mills in the Northwest.

The group claims Plum Creek's Oregon operation has had 11 violations in six years. “A sustainability certification should be reserved for practices that meet the highest standard of excellence, not those that warrant jail time,” said Dr. John Talberth, the Center’s president and senior economist said. “Plum Creek and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative are doing a grave disservice to consumers and investors alike who want to make responsible buying and investment choices but are instead told that illegal logging is somehow good for the Earth.”

A spokeswoman for Plum Creek told the AP it was reviewing the complaint. In an email, Kathy Budinick stated, "Plum Creek is committed to practicing sustainable forestry wherever we operate, including in Maine. There is an established process in place [by SFI] for handling such complaints and we will engage fully in the process to understand and address the complaint.”

Plum Creek has 45 days to respond to the complaint, which was filed by CSE on Dec. 18. (Click here to view PDF)

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