witness statement

name: Theo Hopkins
section: Recycling and Waste
for: The Defence
experience: Forestry expert


I believe that the temperate and boreal forests that were the source of the paper used by the McDonalds Corporation in 1989/1990 are & were not fully sustainable, and specifically, were not ecologically sustainable.

As these forests were not ecologically sustainable, I believe that the use of products using material from these forests was self evidently damaging to the environment.


Full cv:
(not available for this witness)

full statement:


  1. Personal details.

  2. Introduction. The temperate and boreal forests as a source of paper products.

  3. The Nature of Oldgrowth.

  4. Plantation forestry.

  5. References on 'sustainability' to the ASA.

  6. Country reports:

  7. Additional information.

1. Personal Details

2. Introduction


  • Temperate forests are not sustainable.
  • Recognition by governments of problems with temperate forest sustainability
  • A forest is a lot more than trees.
  • Forest Quantity or forest Quality?
  • The United Nations and the Helsinki Resolutions with regard to European Forests.
  • Governments' concerns over the fate of temperate and boreal forests is only recent, and since 1989.
  • Growing recognition of the temperate forest crisis.
  • NGO concern with the temperate and boreal forests.
  • Despite the concern, what improvements can be expected?
  • 10. Forests and recycling.
  • 11. Conclusion.

  • The Oldgrowth Forests of the USA Pacific Northwest: A case study.
  • Forests are for the fungi.
  • Oldgrowth as habit
  • Pacific Yew: A weed or a cancer-cure?
  • The cultural value of oldgrowth.
  • The spiritual value of oldgrowth.
  • The social value of oldgrowth.
  • The economic value of oldgrowth.
  • Logging the oldgrowth worldwide.
  • Alternatives to the clear-felling of oldgrowth.
  • Conclusion.

    4. Plantation Forestry:

  • Intenseive Forestry Management Regimes:
  • The results of plantation on biodiversity.
  • Alternatives to intensive plantation forestry.
  • Conclusion.
  • 5. The Advertising Standards Authority Ltd's (ASA) rulings on the use of the word 'sustainable', and Timber Trades Federation and timber trade press's comments on recent referrals to the ASA.

  • Complaints to the ASA.
  • The ASA definition of sustainability in relation to the environment.
  • Trade press comment on sustainability claims.
  • 6.Country Case Studies:

    THE UNITED KINGDOM (England and Scotland)

  • English Ancient Semi-Natural Woodland (ASNW)
  • The UK's Forestry regulations and guidelines.
  • The UK government is allowed to override its own forestry regulations.
  • Sustained yield but not a sustained ecology.
  • Paper products sourced from Scottish forests thus have an adverse effect on the enviroment.

    The USA





    3.4. The Indiana based NGO Heartwood say:

    3.5. Claims that these forests are massively increasing are true but spurious, as the area was cut over for farmland and then abandoned at the turn of the century. It is not the forest industry that is regeneration these forests, but the strength and fertility of the land. The concern of the environmental movement is that these regenerating forests will be cut again and converted to plantation forests for chips and pulp, rather than being allowed to mature into some approximation to their former glory, further eroding the already severely damaged blodiversity.

    3.5.1 There is particular concern that logging cont i nues for TulIp wood (American white poplar in the cove valleys of. the 1% of the remaining old growth of the Central hardwood forest region, which has been sold In the UK as a substitute for a tropical timber, Gelutong.

    3.6. Over half the timber cut from public forests is used for industrial pallets, 57? of which are used for one trip only, before being consigned to land-fill.

    3.7. The Tennessee based NGO TAGER say:

    3.8. TAGAR (Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia for Environmental Responsibility) petitioned the government to produce an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) concerning the siting Of three new chip and pulp mills In the TVA on the Tennessee River

    3.9. The Final EIS (1243 pages) concluded that the siting of these mills would be detri_mental to the environment, and recommended that the projects were denied permission. (pers. con. 10th June 94, Denny Haldernann, TAGAR).

    3.13. The EIS report deals with the environmental problems of existing forests, presently used for timber, if these were converted to plantations to source a pulp and chip industry. Pulp and chips can use the timber from very young plantation forests with small trees. Pult forests, because Of their short rotation, offer the attractive flnancial advantage of profitabiliy for growers in their own lifetime.

    3.11. Under 'ENV IRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES' the EIS Roport states (page 258( "While the proportion Of the forest area providing habitat for seedling, sapling and polestage stands would increase (with one to three chip mills)the opposite would occur for saw-timber size stands. Population of spices requiring saw-timber sIze forests, such as the pilleated woodpecker, cerulean and worm-eating warblers, scarlet tangers and flying squirrels, would decrease under either one, two or three chipmills, with three chlpmills producing the greatest reduction. ..the species requiring sawmill size timber are already decreasing".



    Swedish oldgrowth.

    5.6. Changes in Swedish forest structure.

    5.7. The industrial forest cycle.

    5.7.1. Most forests in Sweden, in the past and recentLy, followed a regular, industrial, cycle:

    5.8. The impact on biodiversity of industrial forestry.

    5.9 Deforestation and conservation to plantation, and scarification for plantation plantings, has also effected the indigenous Sami (Lapp) people, who rely on the free movement of their reindeer and their reindeer on epidnyvatic lichen, which only grow on very old trees, and who's winter fall feeds the reindeer when no other food is available on the ground. Reindeer have problems with moving through plantations of alien species, as many of these are not self-brashing. (Brashing is the removal of lower branches which naturally die).

    The effect on the Sami should be considered in the context of the inclusion of 'cultural sustainability' in the Helsinki Resolution.

    The effect of road building in forests.

    Road building, both for general traffic and logging traffic affects bio-diversity and is a cause of concern. Road building has fragmented otherwise integral forest areas, particularly has affected bears and has opened up remote areas to illegal hunting of endangered species.

    6.9. The Forest Industry's recognition of the biodiversity problem.




    This country r must be considered the light of the time of the alleged libel, 1989/1990. Forestry laws and practices have changed since this time, in part to address the issue of bio-diversity.

    9.2. Biodiversity crisis.

    9.3. Government report on endangered species.

    The committee continues, recommending that:

    or of the threatened species (total 692),

    Intensive commercial forestry Finland.

    The response to the bio-diversity crisis.



    10.1.1. Information here should be related to the alleged libel in 1989/1990.

    10.1.2.base my belief that paper sourced from this area is not from sustainable forests on the reporvat, The Environment of Czech Republic Part II, (1990, The Ministry of Environment of the Czech Republic and the Ozechoslovak Academy of Sciences)

    10.1.3. There are a number of threats to forests in the former republic. The most significant long term threat is serious air pollution from the neighbouring Ukraine, Poland and former East Germany.

    10.1.4. However, there has been continuing overcutting in their rorests, beyond sustained yield levels, both in the socialist era, due to 'the plan', and since that time due to the perilous financial situation in that country since democratic reform.

    Extracted from this report are the following passages:


    damaging to bio-diversity.



    Environmental problems in Canadian forests.


    Additional Information for the preceeding section; Re: McDonald's.

    The report from WWF gives an overview of the relevant problems round in the Temperate and Boreal forest regions, and is submitted as part of this evidence.

    It is often claimed (by the timber industry) that clearfelling mimics natural forest fire, and is thus no different than regular natural occurrences in the ecosystem. Forest fires differ enormously in character and intensity. Even in the most severer forest fire, sufficient important elements of the ecosystem are untouched or lightly touched. Very often areas in damp valley bottoms are untouched, with the fire jumping across them. This leave a pool of material that remain locally and can regenerate the forest. In some areas, such as dry the ponderosa pine areas of Oregon east of the Cascade mountains, the trees, mostly ponderosa, nave adapted to fire, with a thick bark. These trees remain after a fire. This is not the case when ponderosa forests are clearfelled

    The effects of clearcutting are illustrated in 'Clearcut', a volume of photographs of clearcuts ih the USA and Canada. This volume is submitted as part of this evidence.

    A general review of problems of biodiversity loss in Sweden, particularly prior to 1989, is covered in detail in a fax from Karin Lindahl of the Swedish Soiety for Nature Conservation.

    A general background to the environmental and biodiversity problems in Finland is illustrated in the publication 'Finland and Forest - a Success Story prepared by an alliance of all the forest protection NGO's in Finland for the Helsinki Conference on European Forests in 1993. This volume is submitted as part of the evidence.

    The publication 'Clearcut Sound' from Greenpeace UK documents the environmental issues around Vancouver Island, British Columbia, and is submitted as part of this evidence


    12.1. The forest and paper industries of the world will say, correctly, that paper does not destroy the tropical forests. However, they are economical with the truth, for they omit to add that the forest and paper industry are helping to destroy the temperate and boreal forests.

    For the birds and beasts that have no voice here.

    I beg to speak for the voiceless. The beasts and the flowers and the trees.

    I beg to speak for Coyote. I beg to speak for Owl, And the Marbled Murralet.

    I beg to speak for Fox and Badger. I beg to speak for Rowan. I must speak for ghosts of English Elm.

    I cry for Sitka, Torn from her native home, Transplanted to an alien land Standing lonely, line upon line With her cloned sisters.

    I speak for the fungi And the lichen and the mosses.

    If I speak for the trees, Then I speak for The seed, The seedling, The sapling. I speak for The commercially attractive tree, Scared of the feller's axe And the older slower tree And the skeltons of snags And the fallen, rotting, dying tree, That fruitfully decays.

    The seed becomes the fallen log, Fruitfully decaying, A home for fungi.

    And then it starts all over again, again.

    date signed: 10th July 1994
    status: Appeared in court
    references: Not applicable/ available
    exhibits: Not applicable/ available

    transcripts of court appearances:

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