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NATURAL HARDWOODS MAKE ENVIRONMENTAL SENSE IN THE HOME; WISE MANAGEMENT HELPS THE FOREST RESOURCE RENEW ITSELF

 PITTSBURGH, Aug. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Ever wonder about the environment when you're shopping for maple kitchen cabinets, oak floors or a cherry dining room set? Well, take heart. Saving the planet doesn't mean giving up the warmth of natural U.S. hardwoods.
 According to the Hardwood Manufacturers Association (HMA), forests that yield most of the preferred lumber for American furniture, cabinetry, floors and decorative woodwork are healthy and plentiful. Thanks to a carefully managed cycle of growth, harvest and renewal, hardwoods are more abundant today than they were even a generation ago. Most of them grow in eastern forests held by small, private landowners.
 Consumers Reassured
 In a recent HMA survey, builders, manufacturers and retailers said consumers want the beauty of hardwoods in their homes, but wonder about ecological impact.
 Reassuringly, the U.S. Forest Service reports that since 1952, reserves of oak have almost doubled, and that maple, birch and beech supplies have increased more than 40 percent.
 Much of the credit goes to techniques that reinforce the forest's natural ability to renew itself. Thanks to the continual refinements in forestry, the United States now grows twice as much hardwood as it harvests.
 Easy on the Environment
 Unlike the oil that goes into synthetics, trees grow back again. At the same time, turning solid hardwood into finished products consumes less energy and generates less pollution than metal or plastic production.
 In a world where concern for precious resources has never been greater, hardwoods make sense. As they grow and mature, hardwood forests filter the water we drink. They provide food and shelter for wildlife, and they convert carbon dioxide into the oxygen we breathe.
 But, the HMA notes, wise use of forest products makes sense, too. Like any living thing, a tree has a limited life span. Selectively harvesting mature trees makes way for new life in the forest, and provides a vital material for which there is no substitute: timber that goes into everything from railroad ties to home furnishings.
 American master woodworker George Nakashima summed it up: "When trees mature, it is fair and moral that they are cut for man's use, as they would soon decay and return to the earth. Trees have the yearning to live again, perhaps to provide the beauty, strength and utility to serve man and even to become objects of great artistic worth."
 For free information about hardwoods in the home, contact the Hardwood Manufacturers Association, 400 Penn Center Blvd., Suite 530, Pittsburgh, Pa., 15235; or call 800-373-WOOD.
 /delval/
 -0- 8/10/93
 /CONTACT: George Heidekat or Barbara Vilanova of Hardwood Manufacturers Association, 412-829-0770/


CO: Hardwood Manufacturers Association ST: Pennsylvania IN: SU:

LV -- NYEFNS5 -- 0984 08/10/93 06:50 EDT
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Date:Aug 10, 1993
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