10 Most Endangered Wood Species – Woodworking Network

treedownMy thanks to Bill Esler, Editor of Woodworking Network for his article covering my research into endangered woods.

You can read his article by clicking here.

I have been lucky enough to be invited to give my Manmade Natural lecture in cities across the US, meeting with architects and designers in their firms. I have asked the same questions regarding their plans for wood into the future.

I am consistently saddened at the lack of awareness that certain woods are endangered and I urge my colleagues to learn more about the woods they plan to recommend. They wouldn’t cover a couch in tiger skin so why would they specify Zebra wood?

I will be writing more about this in the year to come and once again thank you Bill for covering this story.





Primeval Białowieża forest under threat in Poland

European bison in Poland’s Białowieża forest. Photograph: Łukasz Mazurek/WildPoland.com

It is one of Europe’s last remaining primeval forests, a last vestige of those that once covered the entire European plain from the Bay of Biscay in the west to the Russian Ural Mountains in the east. It is home to 800 European bison, is an EU Natura 2000 Special Area of Conservation and this forest is a UNESCO designated world heritage site.

You and I might believe this little miracle of survival would stand forever protected from loggers. But we’d be wrong.

Under the guise of harmless beetle the Polish government has authorised the logging of 180,000 cubic metres. National forest director Konrad Tomaszewski outlined the plan to harvest wood in order to halt forest degradation by combating a spruce bark beetle infestation, to protect tourists and rangers from the risk of trees falling on trails.

So why are half the trees cut down to date non-spruce and therefore not affected by this beetle? And why are they worried about a perfectly normal forestry infestation? It is an excuse to rob us of our forestry heritage for profit.

Greenpeace Poland activist Katarzyna Jagiełło said.“The minister does not understand that this insect is a frequent and natural visitor, that it has always existed and the forest has managed to survive,”

A delegation from Unesco visited Białowieża between in June to assess the situation. Luc Bas, the director of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) which advises the Unesco world heritage committee said that the organisation was receiving “a lot of worrying information” about logging activity in Białowieża.

“The IUCN is planning a mission to Białowieża … to assess the situation and the effect of the new logging plans on the World Heritage site. We would advise that, as a precautionary approach, logging should not be proceeding in the Białowieża forest until there has been an assessment of its implications for its world heritage status,” he said.

Latest Update

The initial IUCN opinion said: “Plans by the Polish government to undertake logging in Bialowieza Forest could disturb the natural ecological processes that are part of the World Heritage values of the site and, if implemented, could provide the basis for listing the site as ‘in danger’ in 2017”.

The IUCN’s Tim Badman told EUobserver: “The World Heritage Convention was established to give the highest level of protection to sites with outstanding universal value, which in the case of Bialowieza includes undisturbed natural processes and the richness of dead wood.”

Read more – Guardian Article

Read more – EU Observer Article


Bill Esler’s Preview of NeoCon Lecture – Global Forestry 101

Please click here to see full Woodworkingnetwork.com article by Bill Esler

Grace Jeffers, a design expert and wood products research specialist, details endangered and non-legal wood species, including Lacey Act protections, in a June 13 presentation at 11:00 a.m. at NeoCon 2016 in Chicago.

New legislation worldwide is cracking down on the purchase and export of threatened, endangered, and illegally sourced wood. Not knowing the facts and legal issues could cause unexpected liabilities for designers, specifiers, and for wood manufacturing firms anywhere along the supply chain.
Jeffers will examine the relationship between wood products, and the forests from which they come, and provide key information resources that will help you rapidly identify threatened and endangered species, and at-risk environments.
In this one-hour session attendees will learn to navigate through tricky territory with confidence, getting the tools to protect clients and their own businessess, as well as to protect our natural resources. Jeffers will also provide options for providing clients the very finest alternatives, latest products, and best design ideas available.
Jeffers has spent several years research the status of endanger tree species. Her wide-ranging presentation will also examine the relationship between individual trees and the forests in which they live. She will also delve into the global registries, such as Cites, used by regulatory agencies around the world, and as reference points for legislation.
Based in New York City, Jeffers lectures frequently on design at colleges and consults for high end clients like Wilsonart and MeadWestvaco. She was part of the creative team that rebranded, revitalized and repopularized the Airstream travel trailers.
More than 40,000 are expected at the commercial furniture and design show, which runs June 13-15 at the Merchandise Mart.
About Bill Esler, Editorial Director, Woodworking Network
Bill is responsible for overall content at WoodworkingNetwork.com, FDMC and Closets magazines and related publications and newsletters. Bill also manages event programs for Woodworking Network conferences at the Woodworking Machinery & Supplies Expo in Toronto, WoodPro Expo in Baltimore, and Cabinets & Closets Expo. He develops audience engagement programs using social media, digital printing, live lead-generating events, custom websites and digital/print content.

Manmade Natural Lecture in Overdrive for April 2016

YoureInvitedApril is a very busy month on The Manmade Natural lecture circuit with visits to Chicago, New York and Washington DC. Since IIDEX in December 2015 we’ve been busy with this lecture in the College for Creative Studies, Detroit and KBIS 2016, Las Vegas.

We start on April 18th at Coverings 2016 in Chicago, then on April 26th we are presenting on Madison Avenue, New York before finishing up in Washington DC on April 28th.

Please note that 0.1 IDCEC CEU and AIA LU 1.0 will be provided for attending this course. You can follow me on Facebook and Twitter for updates.

Coverings 2016 Manmade Natural Article

grace-jeffers-KBIS NOLAN CROPFor designers interested in ethical alternatives to natural material sources please read this overview article of my Manmade Natural Lecture on The Coverings 2016 blog.

Truth to materials is a principle of modern design that holds that the innate qualities of natural materials should influence the projects created from them, and the doctrine assumes natural materials are superior to man-made materials. But are natural materials always the best choice? Go to article… 

Man-Made Natural – ASID Highpoint Lecture

In the world of materials, “real” is good and “fake” is bad, right? In the age of tree plantations, engineered lumber, and bio board, what exactly does “natural” mean now? And are natural materials always a better choice than manufactured ones? This session explores these and other issues that influence our decision to choose natural or synthetic materials. Attendees will learn surprising truths about materials and confront their preconceptions to become more educated specifiers.