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Rainforest Action Network Pressures OfficeMax on Logging Moratorium

Rainforest Action Network Pressures OfficeMax on Logging Moratorium

“Profiting from the devastation of public health and the environment should be a thing of the distant past for these industries but for Grassy Narrows and other First Nations represented today, it’s a daily reality.”
-Brant Olson, director of RAN’s Old Growth Campaign,

January 10, 2008 —

One year ago, community leaders in Grassy Narrows, Ontario, declared a moratorium on industrial development and clearcut logging, citing the disruption it causes to their traditional way of life. Grassy Narrows is composed of several indigenous tribes who have long fought to protect the environmental sanctity of an area that is prime real estate for logging and paper mills. In 1970, two Ojibwa bands sued Reed Paper Ltd and Canada's federal and provincial governments over an alarmingly high rate of mercury poisoning in their populations. Nearly 40 years later, Grassy Narrows finds itself battling the government and paper industry once again.

The Canadian government continues to negotiate and regulate logging activities in Grassy Narrows and surrounding areas without any involvement from the local tribes. Seeking some control over the environmental destiny of their traditional lands, the tribes called for a moratorium on logging last year, hoping that the logging and paper companies themselves might be able to force the Canadian government to the negotiating table. But in the last year, despite failing to achieve what was promised to be a "win-win" solution with the Canadian government, OfficeMax continues to log and sell paper in violation of the moratorium.

The Rainforest Action Network has gotten involved and has been mobilizing its members to put the pressure on OfficeMax. RAN recently declared January 30 an International Day of Action, organizing protests at local OfficeMax branches all over the United States and Canada.

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