Industry News

ROSEBURG STATEMENT ON OKOUME INVESTIGATION

Monday, March 25, 2019

Springfield, Ore. – Roseburg Forest Products fully supports the current investigation into allegations of illegal timber imports from West Africa, and wholly denies any knowledge of or complicity with the alleged actions of importers Cornerstone Forest Products and Evergreen Hardwoods.

Roseburg reviewed the 84-page report released today by the NGO Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), as well as undercover footage shot by the organization of the importer’s agent. Roseburg absolutely rejects the report’s implication that Roseburg was in any way complicit in Cornerstone and Evergreen’s alleged schemes. Roseburg proactively engaged third-party experts DoubleHelix Tracking Technologies to evaluate the importers’ compliance and perform onsite, in-person audits of their supply chains. The audits investigated country, species, supply chain, market and other external factors. Although the results of both audits were favorable, with no findings of Lacey Act violations, it appears that the audits were unable to detect the importers’ specific alleged illegal activities. Roseburg was not aware of the alleged illegal activities by Evergreen or Cornerstone before federal investigators contacted Roseburg earlier this month concerning the investigation into these importers.

Roseburg supports the EIA’s efforts to ensure that timber is properly harvested in a legal and sustainable manner. Roseburg is serving as a cooperating witness in the U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE) investigation into the alleged illegal imports of okoume veneer by Cornerstone and Evergreen. ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) investigators have repeatedly assured Roseburg that the company is not the focus of the investigation at this time.

Roseburg has ended the use of okoume veneer in our products and quarantined all okoume fiber in our inventory. We have suspended our business relationships with Cornerstone and Evergreen during the investigation. Roseburg does not endorse or condone any illegal behavior or practices within our industry. Ferreting out bad actors is in the best interests of the wood products industry and the source countries.

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