WASHINGTON, DC - The Sierra Club and several partner groups are advocating for enforcement of the Lacey Act, a historic conservation law that prohibits the trade of illegally handled plants and wildlife, in advertisements in POLITICO's print and online publications this week.
These ads come the same week that Lumber Liquidators, the nation's top hardwood flooring retailer, revealed the company could face federal charges for importing illegally sourced products.
Signed by President McKinley in 1900, the Lacey Act initially intended to prevent the poaching of game and birds taken in one state and sold in another. In 2008, the Lacey Act was amended to broaden protections for a wide range of plants, including trees and plants in countries outside the United States. Championed by Senator Wyden (D-OR), these amendments were supported by a broad, bipartisan coalition of interests, including much of the domestic wood products industry, labor unions, and environmental organizations. Today, the Lacey Act helps protect communities, jobs, and our climate by reducing the demand for illegally sourced wood products.
The forests in the Russian Far East are home to the last 450 Siberian tigers in the wild, as well as stands of oak, ash, and elm. Unfortunately, rampant corruption and lax enforcement has led to widespread illegal logging.
In 2013, the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) released a report after years of undercover investigations, tracking illegally logged wood from Russia to China. EIA’s investigation found that Lumber Liquidators, the top hardwood flooring retailer in the United States, allegedly sourced oak flooring from timber illegally logged in the Russian Far East, some of the last remaining Siberian tiger habitat. The United States Department of Justice has since launched an investigation into Lumber Liquidators and possible violations of the Lacey Act.
The ads ran in POLITICO's Tuesday, Feb. 24 print edition and on politico.com from Feb. 24 through March 1.
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