Thanks to a five-year, $4 million federal grant from the Forest Service International Programs Office, the Wood Identification and Screening Center (WISC) is moving to Oregon State University, where it will join the College of Forestry. The WISC was established three years ago to combat the illegal timber trade by using wood samples and their unique chemical signatures to identify the origin and species of wood in lumber, furniture and even musical instruments. According to WISC Director Beth Lebow, illegal logging is the third most profitable transnational crime and costs the U.S. timber industry up to $1 billion annually. According to the World Economic Forum, half of all tropical deforestation is illegal.
Companies in the U.S. are banned under the federal Lacey Act from buying or selling illegally sourced timber products, and the WISC can help companies comply with the act and validate their supply chains in the future. When a wood product is imported, the importer has to submit a Lacey Act declaration that states the genus and species, as well as the origin of the wood. The WISC also works with other government agencies including Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection and the USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection System.
The WISC lab uses specialized mass spectrometry to analyze the chemical signatures in toothpick-sized wood samples no larger than a toothpick. Cross-referencing the signature with others in its database, WISC can determine a product’s genus and species within seconds. To date, WISC has collected 16,000 chemical signatures from 1,100 wood species.
U.S. housing starts in June increased more than 17% over May to an annual rate of 1.186 million, with both single family housing starts (831,000) and multi-family housing starts (350,000) showing big increases, according to the U.S. Census Bureau monthly…
The Board of Cepra-Centro promozionale Acimall, orgaziners of Xylexpo, speaking through its president Lorenzo Primultini, officially canceled the 2020 show on July 6, 2020. Initially scheduled for late May in Milan, Italy, Xylexpo was first…
Organizers of the Timber Processing & Energy Expo announced the cancellation of the event, which was scheduled for September 30 to October 2 at the Portland Exposition Center in Portland, Ore…
The Conservation Fund has purchased 15,408 acres of Maine woodland from Chadbourne Tree Farms LLC in Oxford County. The primarily white pine tract was assembled by the…
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