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From Trees to Tigers, Case Shows Cost of Illegal Logging

November 10, 2015

From Trees to Tigers, Case Shows Cost of Illegal Logging

By Jani Actman, National Geographic
PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 10, 2015

Lumber Liquidators’ ads are hard to miss. They’re bright yellow and boast of the hardwood floor retailer’s low prices in loud black letters. And last month, the public found out where at least some of that cheap wood comes from.

The company, which is based in Virginia, pleaded guilty in court to buying wood that had been illegally harvested in the forests of the Russian Far East, a huge forested tract that stretches from Lake Baikal to the Pacific Ocean. Illegal logging has disrupted life in the region and threatened the survival of the endangered Siberian tiger and the Amur leopard. (Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin, has made preserving the Siberian tiger something of a cause célèbre.)

Lumber Liquidators bought the wood from a Chinese supplier despite knowing of its illegal source, according to the United States Department of Justice. The company agreed to pay more than $13 million as part of a plea agreement.

Read more at National Geographic.

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