[NEWS] Drax Biomass Signs Deal with Enviro Group to Avoid Logging in Wetlands
– by Stephanie Riegel, October 19, 2016, Business Report
Georgia-based Drax Biomass International—which stores the wood pellets it manufactures in those two massive white domes at the base of the Mississippi River bridge in Port Allen—signed a deal today with an environmental group, pledging not to source its timber from the cypress and tupelo stands found in forested wetlands like the Atchafalaya Basin.
The pledge was largely symbolic. In the two years since the company began operating in Louisiana, it never has sourced its timber from forested wetlands. However, a DBI spokesman says it wants to be an industry leader in establishing best practices because others in the wood pellet and logging industry are eyeing the cypress-tupelo swamps as a potential source for mulch and wood pellets.
“Part of the effort with this objective is for us to explicitly recognize the unique value of the basin and implement standards to make sure we do not source wood from those areas,” says David Malkins, director of communications and policy for DBI. “We also want to lead the way and set an example for other loggers and wood pellet companies.”
The agreement signed today between DBI and the Atchafalaya Basinkeeper, a nonprofit group dedicated to protecting and restoring the ecosystems within the basin, was several months in the making and came about after officials with the nonprofit brought their concerns to DBI executives.