Woody travails

Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

FOR certain US investors, it makes more sense to create money rather than thinking green. Why else would they hit upon the horrifying idea of felling trees in Siberia, which contains a fifth of the world's forests, to procure lumber to run idle sawmills in Oregon and Washington? Russian trees are to be felled and then bombarded with gamma rays to kill potentially dangerous bacteria before importing the lumber to the US.

The move has sparked off protests from nearly 40 Russian and American environmentalists who also dashed off an open protest letter to Al Gore, the us vice president. Strangely, while on one hand, the us forest service is engaged in protecting the habitat of the Siberian tiger, a native of the Siberian forests, on the other the us commerce departmentis paying subsidies for the domestic wood industry to fell trees in the Siberian Khabarovsk region.

According to David Gordon of the Pacific Environment and Resources Centre which is all for the establishment of an indigenous Siberian wood- working industry, the us policy is quite contradictory".

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