With another comment today on the GAGOP Resolution from the Executive Director of the Southeastern Wood Producers Association, I did some additional research on LEED certification regarding timber, and saw this newspiece from AthensOnline.
As the story states, one doesn’t have to use LEED-certified wood to receive LEED certification. What it doesn’t state is that there are different levels of LEED certification and, for that reason, every point counts. LEED uses the international FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certification for wood. This certification actively and openly discourages pine plantations.
For the free marketeers, the problems are legion. The FSC agreement addresses labor relations, the community interests in private property, and even how much timberland can be clearcut at a time. The limit, unless there are extenuating market demands, is 40 acres. The exception allows for 80 acres. For people with hundreds or thousands of acres of pines, this is simply not acceptable. It also negates the advantage most of Georgia has in the speed with which pine trees reach maturity by forcing harvesting over an extended period of time.