From our folks up in Seattle…
It was after your typical Northwest moistness on Saturday that members of the Seattle Rainforest Action Group showed up to needle logging giant Weyerhaeuser about its deception and devastation. Less than a mile from the company’s global headquarters in Federal Way, Washington, we paid a visit to a housing development built by the company’s erstwhile subsidiary, Quadrant Homes.
Whoever conjured up the business plan for Quadrant should definitely receive a big, shiny, gold star for Devious Capitalism. First, Quadrant is given old Weyerhaeuser land around the Puget Sound that has been logged all to hell and then clearcuts it one last time to make way for cheaply-built new “McMansions” (a sad new trend across the West). The wood they use for the houses is from, whom-else, their sugar-daddy Weyerhaeuser, wood which has been clearcut from forests in Canada. Slam, bam, big profits all around…
Except, that is, for the forests devastated both in Washington and Canada, and the small fact that the endangered forests clearcut for cheap 2x4s happen to be the traditional lands of the Native Grassy Narrows people. That’s right, this is stolen wood we’re talking about. The theft is so obvious, you can see it from space (yeah…the giant patches are clearcuts).
To expose the truth behind the wood in these houses, we set ourselves up outside the Quadrant sales office, offering organic juice and information to potential home-buyers, countering the ‘free lemonade’ (not organic) and deception available inside. Next, we took truth to the doorstep and went door-to-door in the housing development, talking with home owners about the stolen wood they had unwittingly purchased along with their houses. Most folk were amazed, as Quadrant had marketed these houses as ‘Built Green.’ I think we turned on some light bulbs, just one more step towards waking up Weyerhaeuser.
Oh, and by the time we left, it was bright and sunny.
-Justin Rolfe-Redding is a member of the Seattle Rainforest Action Group (SeaRAG) and is currently working to acquaint himself with the glorious rivers, trees and summits of the Cascades.