Daphne Cothren, Laurel (ARCHITECTURE), is inspired to do for wood what the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program has done for consumers of fish. WoodWatch wants to shift market demand for wood in building toward economically and environmentally sustainable species by providing guidance to decision makers and consumers. The initial rating system is simple:

Avoid – these species are over-harvested or the harvesting itself is accomplished in harmful ways, or both.
Good – okay but with some concerns about how the forest is managed or overall species numbers.
Best – abundant, well-managed and harvested in an environmentally-friendly way that can maintain or increase production in the long term without jeopardizing the ecosystem.

What she is trying to set up really makes sense.  Have you noticed our efforts to save the redwoods has been so successful that this locally grown, self regenerative, sustainable and beautiful tree isn’t used very much*. Instead it’s plastic and ipe now. After we cut down our redwoods, saw some light and stopped that, we turn a blind eye to old growth tropical forests (ipe et al) which are now fair game. Shame anew.

It is time to push WoodWatch along.

You can contact Daphne @ Laurel Architecture, www.laurelarch.com, dde@laurelarch.com, and 925.926.0440

*No doubt, redwoods very much needed saving and being self-generating they are coming back strong. Second and third growth trees can be harvested sustainably.