The illegal logging trade steals valuable natural resources and undercuts companies' profitability. That's why businesses and governments are turning to new technology applications to expose illicitly harvested lumber.
The Malaysian state of Sarawak was once home to one of Asia’s most biologically diverse tropical rainforests. That was until a technical report by a British aristocrat initiated 25 years of support for a disastrous forest management program that continues to this day.
A recent government audit found evidence of timber laundering, where exporters make illegally logged wood appear to be legitimately harvested by concocting “ghost trees” – trees that never existed, except on paper.
A wood buyer from Washington State and his lumber mill, J&L Tonewoods, were indicted last week on charges of purchasing illegally harvested big leaf maples from the Gifford Pinchot National Forest in violation of the Lacey Act. The act bans illegal wildlife trafficking, and the seven counts of the indictment are the first alleging violations within the United States.