Magazine article New Internationalist

Badge of Dishonour

Magazine article New Internationalist

Badge of Dishonour

Article excerpt

Budding young lumberjacks in the Boy Scouts of America may be disappointed to find that there isn't a 'commercial logging' badge - but perhaps there should be. An investigation by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer has revealed that Scout administrations across the US have conducted highimpact logging on tens of thousands of acres of forestland, and sold prime woodlands to big timber interests and developers.

For nearly a century, the Boy Scouts have styled themselves as conservationists. 'The Boy Scouts were green before it was cool to be green,' says the organization's national spokesman, Deron Smith. But behind the scenes, Scouting councils have been clear-cutting large areas in and around sensitive forests and streams that provide habitat for a host of protected species, including salmon, wolves and bald eagles. Scout councils have even logged and sold for development properties bequeathed to them by donors who intended that they be used for camping and outdoor recreation.

'In public, they say they want to teach kids about saving the environment. But in reality, it's all about the money,' explains Jane Childers, a longtime Scouting volunteer who has fought the logging. …

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