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Forest Ecosystems

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[We're] putting the question, with the environmentalists, to the international marketplace: "How much are you willing to pay?" And the cynics will tell you, "Not a penny. . . . The world will not pay any more for your products than it will from a forest that's managed differently." So, we'll see. We're asking the question.

— Linda Coady, V.P. Weyerhaeuser

Peacefully and productively resolving the conflicts of competing agendas is one of the great environmental challenges facing the world's populations. In Earth on Edge, Moyers and his team of producers take us to Clayoquot Sound in Canada. There native Indians (called the First
Harvest Mangement Area
Cutting timber in a harvest management area.
Nations), environmentalists, and one of Canada's biggest lumber companies — MacMillan Bloedel — are uniting in an experimental collaboration. Clear cutting of old-growth cedar, hemlock, and fir had been halted by the environmentalist protesters. But when the logging stopped, so did the potential for jobs for many of the First Nations' people. Economic conflict brought the lumber company, the First Nations, and the environmentalists together. The result is Iisaak, a new company that harvests trees in a way that mimics natural processes, allowing the ancient rainforests and the wildlife they support to survive. This innovative project is advised by an independent team that determines whether the logging merits a green seal of approval The success of the effort depends on consumers: Are they willing to pay more for wood harvested sustainably?

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