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Good word (North American forests).

Think you have to travel to the Amazon or the Galapagos Islands to see the world's most spectacular forests and species? Think again.

Many of the globe's most outstanding forest regions are right here in our own backyards, reports a new study from World Wildlife Fund (WWF). Yet 95 percent of these forests are unprotected, and over 75 percent could become extinct or so degraded that they cannot maintain a rich variety of plant and animal species such as salmon, grizzly bears, rare lichens, wild ginseng and Pacific yew, the bark of which is used to treat some cancers.

"North America's forests are some of the most spectacular on earth, but they are highly susceptible to unabated logging practices," says Dr. Dominick DellaSala, Director of Forest Ecology at WWF-US. "This evidence is so powerful that in addition to urging more forest protection, we must look at new solutions such as creating markets for environmentally friendly wood."

That was the aim of WWF's ambitious Forests For Life Conference, held in May in San Francisco. Featuring experts from around the world, trips to eco-friendly forests and manufacturing plants, and a trade exhibit of green wood products, the conference focused on North America's potentially lucrative market for sustainable wood. WWF is helping establish a network of buyers groups around the world that use their combined buying power to urge their suppliers to offer them sustainably grown and harvested wood.

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Publication:Natural Life
Date:Jul 1, 1997
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