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Pre-decisional—For U.S. Government Distribution Only—August 17, 2004
U.S. Report for the Joint UNECE/FAO Workshop on Illegal Logging and Trade of
Illegally-derived Forest Products in the ECE Region: Causes and Extent
16-17 September, 2004
The United States has a long history of forest management on public and private forest
land. This includes efforts to establish and enforce laws and regulations for forest
ownership (including timber resources) and management (including timber harvesting).
Public forests include forests owned and managed by federal, state and local government
entities. Responsibility for establishing and enforcing laws and regulations for privatelyowned forests resides with state and local governments.
Laws and regulations affecting forest management and timber production differ across
public jurisdictions and among and within states but in all cases provide for protection of
areas where timber production is restricted and, where timber production is permitted,
establish the responsibilities and rights of timber owners. Although the forest resources
of the United States are extensive and diverse, with relatively high levels of timber
production, incidents of illegal logging (defined as harvesting, transport and/or
processing timber contrary to law) appear to be few in number and commercially
In addition to production from domestic resources, the United States also imports large
quantities of a range of forest products. However, the majority of these imports—well
over 90 percent as measured by volume or value—originate in countries where there are
few, if any concerns related to illegal logging. In cases where timber species are listed on
appendixes of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild
Fauna and Flora, the United States ensures that shipments are accompanied by
appropriate documentation and, in some cases, has refused entry or seized shipments
based on inadequate evidence of legality of origin.
The United States has been a leader in raising international awareness of illegal logging
and identifying actions to address it, for example through the work of the G-8 and
regional initiatives such as the South Asia and Africa Forest Law Enforcement and
Governance Ministerial Conferences. The United States also has undertaken an
ambitious program aimed at building the capacity of developing countries to address
illegal logging.
Pre-decisional—For U.S. Government Distribution Only—August 17, 2004
FAS: Mike Hicks
USTR: David Brooks
USFS: Anne Melle, Jerrilyn Levi
USAID: Alicia Grimes
STATE: Stephanie Caswell, Jan McAlpine
DOJ: Jim Rubin
DOC: Brian Woodward
CEQ: Dinah Bear