The following post originally appeared on the website of an EPN member organisation, Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA).  EIA has been a leader in the Network in issues of illegal logging and supporting the Lacey Act.  Though this particular case focuses on solid wood, the Lacey Act encompasses all forest products and importers of pulp and paper should be advised.

Washington, DC — According to news sources, federal authorities from the Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, in coordination with US Fish and Wildlife and Department of Justice, executed search warrants on Thursday for the offices of Lumber Liquidators in connection with an investigation into possible violations of the Lacey Act. The Lacey Act is a century old law amended in 2008 to ban the trade of illegal timber and wood products.

Alexander von Bismarck, Executive Director of the Environmental Investigation Agency, issued the following statement.

“Illegal logging is having unprecedented environmental, social and economic impacts in the Russian Far East, threatening indigenous communities and the last remaining Siberian tiger habitats in the world. The illegal trade in wood also harms the billion dollar forest products industry in the United States.

“We are encouraged that the US government appears to be responding to the catastrophic levels of illegal logging around the world and continues to lead the international effort to stop the trade in stolen wood.

“The law has already been credited with effectively transforming the marketplace, curbing associated illegal activity around the world and helping to combat climate change. Companies need to ensure the products they sell are legal.”