From the stump to the final point of sale, there are a number of ways in which illegal wood can enter supply chains.
Just between the forest and a sawmill, there are at least five ways in which illegal logs can enter the supply chain.
Illegal logs enter supply chains by:
- Harvesting more trees than what is permitted by the forest management plan.
- Mis-labeling high-value trees as lower valuable species during the forest inventory.
- Felling trees with a smaller diameter than what is permitted.
- Logging trees from forest areas that are not part of a specified management plan, including trees just beyond plan boundaries.
- Logging trees during illegal forest clearing.
It’s important to note that the first four ways can occur even in legal forest management areas, or their immediate vicinity. This makes it hard to detect, and because of this, they are some of the most common means by which illegal logs enter supply chains.
Method #5 – logging trees during illegal forest clearing is much easier to detect, but still occurs on a relatively wide scale.