The New York City government is the largest consumer of tropical hardwoods in North America.

So you want to save rainforests? Maybe even the planet? You can make a huge difference right here in NYC!

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JUNE 8, 2011

Amazon Wood Ejected from High Line

Section 2 of the High Line park officially opened this Wednesday morning with a notable new material: reclaimed teak.

“We whole-heartedly applaud the Friends of the High Line for choosing teak salvaged from industrial buildings in Asia instead of ipê logged from old growth rainforests in the Amazon,” said Tim Doody, a campaign coordinator for Rainforest Relief. “The reclaimed teak seems very much in keeping with the spirit of a park designed on an elevated train track that almost got torn down.”

APRIL 22, 2011

Balloon-rigged Banner Launched in Washington Square Park to Protest 400 New Benches Made with Old-Growth Amazon Wood

To commemorate Earth Day, climate and rainforest activists floated a 300-square foot banner into the peak of the arch in Washington Square Park. Tethered by three helium-filled weather balloons, the banner read: “Mayor Bloomberg: Why Was the Amazon Logged for Wash. Square Park Benches?”

2 Videos:
Action Update:

JANUARY 10, 2011

New York Times: “Moving to Get Tropical Wood out of the Subway”

“It is a truism that mass transit is good for the local environment,” writes Michael M. Grynbaum. “But is it good for the rain forest? Not so much, according to one agitating group of city conservationists.”

“Rainforest Relief, a New York outfit that has long worked to stop the use of rain forest wood in public infrastructure, has now set its sights on New York City Transit. The offense: using hardwood culled from tropical forests to create the wooden track ties for the city’s subway lines.”

2010 Wrap-up: Groundbreaking Changes to NYC Infrastructure

Throughout 2010, NYC agencies and representatives took significant steps towards getting the city off rainforest wood and onto sustainable alternatives.

Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh introduced a bill to ban the MTA’s use of tropical hardwood for subway tracks. The Chief Engineer of the Parks Dept. vowed that his agency would no longer use Amazon wood for the Coney Island Boardwalk. And the DOT launched a $10 million study with the objective of converting the SI Ferry docks from greenheart to a rainforest-friendly alternative.

APRIL 21, 2010
Civil Disobedience at City Hall

During lunch hour, two climbers scaled the 40-foot flagpoles at the southern entrance of City Hall Park to hang a banner reading, “If Bloomberg Is So Green, Why Is NYC America’s #1 Consumer Of Rainforest Wood?”

“We’re in front of Mayor Bloomberg’s office on the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day,” said Tim Doody, NYC Campaign Coordinator for Rainforest Relief and climber on the west flagpole. “And we hope our message is large enough for him to see it.”


APRIL 19, 2010
Video Release: “Dead Rainforests of New York”

A new 46-second video exposes New York City’s on-going use of rainforest wood for benches, boardwalks, subway tracks and the docks of the Staten Island Ferry. Placards held aloft by New Yorkers are joined together through quick zooms and cuts to form the sentence, “You Are Looking At Dead Rainforests.” The video was featured on the New York Times website.

APRIL 19, 2010
2-Year Plan to Stop NYC’s Consumption of Rainforest Wood

Entitled “The Rainforests of New York: a Trail of Destruction“, Rainforest Relief’s report shows that in every case where a city agency or public benefit corporation is using tropical hardwoods — even for large-scale outdoor infrastructure — an alternative material could be substituted immediately.

An executive summary is available as a PDF download.

fsc-lies-amazon-wood-bleachers-1SEPT. 24, 2009
Activists Unfurl Banner on High Line to Protest Use of FSC-Certified Amazon Wood

Environmental activists unfurled a 35-foot banner on the High Line, blocking the iconic view of 10th Avenue from the bleacher seating which is composed of old growth ipe, logged from the Amazon rainforest. The banner read, “High Crime on the High Line! FSC Lies: Amazon Wood Is Not Sustainable!”

Rainforest Relief and New York Climate Action Group coordinated the banner action to confront the “First International FSC Friday,” an event held on September 25th by the Forest Stewardship Council to promote their certification scheme.

JUNE 13, 2009
Video Release: Touring the Rainforests of New York

A new educational video features sites around NYC made of rainforest wood, including boardwalks, docks, benches subway tracks and the Brooklyn Bridge promenade.

New York activists explain why rainforests don’t have to be destroyed to build their public infrastructure, and link the city’s use of rainforest wood to mass deforestation, climate change and the funding of murderous cartels.


The Myth of High Line’s Certified Rainforest Wood

This Just in: Illegal Amazon Timber Passed off as Certified!

FSC-certified Forestry in Africa