Conservationists are probably more closely identified with the struggle to save forests from logging than with any other environmental battle, as the label “tree hugger” suggests. So it was a case of strange bedfellows when enviros and industry representatives met late last month at the Forest Leadership Forum to discuss ways to better protect the world’s remaining forests. More than 1,000 people from 44 countries participated in the three-day conference, which was held in Atlanta, Ga., and sponsored by such unlikely allies as Greenpeace, International Paper, the World Wildlife Fund, and Home Depot. Discussions focused on how to responsibly grow, harvest, and sell wood products. Many agreed that the event could mark a turning point in the forestry debate. “What we’re seeing today is a coming together of organizations that probably were not on speaking terms with one another five years ago, maybe even a year ago,” said V. Alaric Sample of the Pinchot Institute for Conservation.
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