Free with 84 Lumber Wood Products: Controversy from Chile

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Pennsylvania Company’s Chilean Wood Buying Threatens Two Pristine Rivers

One of Pittsburgh’s best known corporate citizens, 84 Lumber Company, has gotten itself entangled in a furor over plans to dam two unspoiled and spectacularly beautiful rivers in Chilean Patagonia. 84 Lumber buys wood products made by the Matte Group, a Chilean company deeply involved in the dam plans. And now an international campaign – led by International Rivers and supported by Pennsylvanian environmental activists – is urging 84 Lumber to sever its ties to the controversy.

Country singer Dana Lyons—whose song “Cows With Guns” has topped charts internationally—will bring the international campaign to 84 Lumber’s hometown on June 5, in an evening concert at the Unitarian Universalist Church of the North Hills, 2359 West Ingomar Road, in Pittsburgh. “84 Lumber says part of its mission is to ‘Build Hope’” says Lyons. “84 Lumber can build hope for Patagonia’s communities, forests and rivers by taking a stand against products that are helping to finance Patagonia’s destruction.”

The proposed dams would wreck the Baker and Pascua rivers by turning them into a series of artificial lakes that—together with a 1,500-mile long transmission line—would also destroy rare forests unique to Patagonia. Controversy over the proposed dams and extremely long transmission line—it would be one of the world’s longest—has been escalating rapidly following an International Rivers mailing to 50 of the largest US building construction products companies, a blunt New York Times editorial calling for an end to the plans and high-profile news and feature articles in the San Francisco Chronicle and the Boston Globe, among others.

“These dams and their nightmarish transmission lines will do much more than destroy rare forests and bring wildlife close to extinction,” said Aaron Sanger, Patagonia Campaign Coordinator with International Rivers. “These dams will divide communities, forcing families off their land, ending traditions that generations have passed down, and spoiling tourism that is bringing new income to an impoverished region.”

Mr. Lyons will be available for interviews before and after his performance that begins at 7 pm and ends at 8 pm.


More information: 

For more information please call International Rivers at 510-848-1155 or go to /node/2324