By Lisa Benedetti, BirdLife Europe
The American southeast is a place where rich bottomland hardwood forests support rare plants and animals and important ecosystem services. But millions of hectares of trees in the southeastern US are under the axe because of UK and European policies which have given birth to a wood pellet industry which is almost entirely reliant on such forests to produce bioenergy. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has mapped what has been going on and what’s in the pipeline to illustrate the scale of this threat.
Many may think that forestry in the US is highly regulated. In reality, very little (only 10%) of the millions of hectares of bottomland hardwood forest that now exist in the American southeast are fully protected from commercial logging. These forests are some of North America’s most biologically diverse habitats with rare wildlife and important tree species like red maple…
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