Posted 9/18/2013

The housing market’s strong rally is welcome news for construction workers, whose industry was one of the hardest hit during the recession. Unfortunately, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is hampering the recovery, helping to drive up the price of timber and ship American jobs and dollars overseas. The organization’s ill-conceived double standards are yet another example of well-intentioned regulations killing jobs while doing little to actually protect the environment.

In 1992, a United Nations summit introduced the concept of “forest certification” to help consumers identify forest products — wood, paper, cardboard, and much more — that had been harvested in an environmentally responsible way. The intentions of this summit, to bring standards to a growing international industry, were noble, but not all of the standards that emerged were fair and uniform for the participating countries. And while the certifying organizations are private, governments often require builders to receive certification, either to participate in subsidy programs or just to build at all. Continue reading