World-forest-day Every June 5 since 1972 has been designated by the United Nations as World Environment Day.  The annual event is aimed at being the biggest and most widely celebrated global day for positive environmental change. 

 

This year's theme for WED is Forests:  Nature at Your Service.  As an organization that depends on wood as a natural resource, Vermont Woods Studios Furniture places forest conservation at the heart of our mission so we are pleased to support and celebrate this day.

 

Sometimes when I talk about forest conservation, I can see peoples' eyes glazing over, but when I revisit Forest Facts like these offered up on the WED website I remember the primary reason why we started Vermont Woods Studios in the first place:

  • Forests cover 1/3 of the earth’s land mass, performing vital functions and services around the world which make our planet alive with possibilities
  • 1.6 billion people depend on forests for their livelihoods
  • Forests play a key role in our battle against climate change, releasing oxygen into the atmosphere while storing carbon dioxide
  • Forests feed our rivers and are essential to supplying the water for nearly 50% of our largest cities
  • Forests create and maintain soil fertility; they help to regulate the often devastating impact of storms, floods and fires
  • Forests are the most biologically diverse ecosystems on land, and are home to more than half of the terrestrial species of animals, plants and insects
  • Forests also provide shelter, jobs, security and cultural relevance for forest-dependent populations
  • Forests are the green lungs of the earth, vital to the survival of people everywhere — all seven billion of us.

Today we honor many of our friends and colleagues at the organizations worldwide that work to protect the forests and the people and animals who call them home, including ForestEthics, World Wildlife Fund, The Nature Conservancy and Ecological Internet.  I'm heading our for a walk in the woods this afternoon.  I hope you'll have a chance to do the same very soon because when you do, I think maybe you'll feel the same way I do about Forest Conservation.

 

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This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Tiger-conservation I'm trying not to feel too wounded.  We got a call from World Wildlife Fund WWF today.  I've been a contributing member and ardent promoter of their work since I graduated from college and got my first full time job in 1980.  After 31 years of enthusiastic support, they called me today to tell me that I'm not allowed to mention their name on my Vermont Woods Studios Furniture website anymore.

See… we recently launched a Save the Tiger campaign to raise awareness of the fact that all species of tigers are endangered and some are on the brink of extinction.  Their habitat is being destroyed and to some extent it's because corrupt timber conglomerates are clear-cutting the forests they live in and using the wood for cheap imported furniture and flooring that's sold in the US and Europe.  We oppose that and so does WWF.  We support their Save the Tiger fund and we encourage furniture shoppers to buy American furniture made from sustainably harvested American wood.

Well I guess they don't like their name being connected to a commercial venture.  I understand their concern about the fact that there are dirt ball websites out there that might use their name dishonestly, but really.  I asked WWF to spend 5 minutes on our website and tell me we're one of those guys.  They agreed that our committment to conservation seems genuine but then noted that in order to be considered WWF partners and refer to them on your website, a minimum "6 figure donation" is required annually along with a long list of other things.  Actually, I think we would be OK with the other requirements but $100,000 is equal to 1/6 of our total revenue (not profits) last year.  So now I have to face the fact that I've been summarily rejected by my all time favorite charity– an organization that had a profound influence on the whole concept defining Vermont Woods Studios Furniture.  How sad is that?

I'm going to finish crying in my beer tonight.  Tomorrow I'll be over it and moved on to other issues.  But tonight I can't help feeling a bit jaded about WWF and their corporate partnership program.  What do you think?

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This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

World-wildlife-fund

We just renewed our annual membership with the World Wildlife Fund, one of my all time favorite charities.  Our obvious link with WWF (panda.org) now, is through our mutual efforts in forest conservation, but I've been a WWF fan since log before Vermont Woods Studios was born.  They've been one of the most effective major global players in conservation efforts supporting oceans, rivers, forests, endangered species and more for generations. 

If you're looking for a special gift for someone who loves nature, check out World Wildlife Fund's gift and adoption programs.  They make shopping easy, especially for the person who has everything.

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This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Vt-bears
I was just reading my monthly newsletter from the Vermont Woodlands Association and had to share a story with you.  The VWA, by the way is made up of the finest people on earth as you will clearly see at the end of this post. Their mission is to:

"advocate for the management, sustainability, perpetuation, and
enjoyment of forests through the practice of excellent forestry that
employs highly integrated management practices that protect and
enhance both the tangible and intangible values of forests – including
clean air and water, forest products, wildlife habitat, biodiversity,
recreation, scenic beauty, and other resources – for this and future
generations."

There are lots of fascinating articles in the newsletter but this is the one I knew you would want to hear about:

Put Blodgett wrote a column about bears.  He and his friend Ben Kilham, a wildlife rehabilitator specializing in bears were working with some orphaned cubs who hadn't had the benefit of being taught what to eat by their mother.  Since cubs recognize suitable food by smell, Ben often chews up natural bear foods and then breathes into the nostrils of the cubs to train them on what plants and animals to eat.  All fine if it's rasberries, but the cubs have to learn to eat worms and grubs too!  THAT is dedication.

Thought you would want to know this in case you're ever thinking about becoming a bear rehabilitator đŸ™‚

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This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Save the Tiger
Part of our mission at Vermont Woods Studios is forest stewardship and a big part of that is protection of endangered species that call the forest their home.  We have a particular soft spot for cats.  Did you know that all of the worlds "big cats" are critically endangered?    In the case of tigers, experts estimate there are as few as 3,200 tigers left in the wild.  Three subspecies have been driven to extinction in the past century alone.

One of our favorite non-profits, the World Wildlife Fund is trying to save the tiger.  With the Chinese lunar calendar having just rolled us into the Year of the Tiger, they have developed a plan to secure a future for these magnificent big cats.

Check out Tx2.  The goal is to double the number of wild tigers by 2022, the next Year of the Tiger.  If you want to help, read more about it here and take action to save this iconic species of the forest.

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This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.