Lowe’s Cos., the second-largest home-improvement retailer in the U.S., announced today that it plans to phase out wood products that come from “endangered forests,” starting with an immediate ban on the purchase of wood from the Great Bear Rainforest region of British Columbia. The company’s pledge follows a similar one made last year by Home Depot, the largest retailer in the home-improvement market. Lowe’s new policy resulted from talks with a number of environmental groups, including the Rainforest Action Network and World Resources Institute, as well as wood suppliers and industry organizations. Enviros said the company’s move would help boost the supply of wood certified as sustainably harvested. In other forestry news, U.S. Forest Service Chief Mike Dombeck in recent months has been increasingly critical of the timber industry in the South, where most logging escapes regulation because it occurs on private land and cutting has increased by about 50 percent since 1977.