Researchers at the Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) have partnered with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to investigate whether wood from products sold in the United States is accurately labeled. The forensic expertise of FPL botanist Alex Wiedenhoeft was key in this research, and the findings of the study were recently published in a journal article in PLOS One.
For an easily-accessible explanation of the research, check out this story from WWF. It’s full of great photos that give you a behind-the-scenes look into Alex’s forensic work and the world’s largest research wood collection, housed here at FPL in the Center for Wood Anatomy Research.
Isthmus, a weekly newspaper here in Madison, Wisconsin, agrees, and featured Wiedenhoeft and his work to curb illegal logging as this week’s cover story.
FPL botanist Alex Wiedenhoeft
If you thought illegal logging was just a problem affecting trees and forests, think again. The article explains that “when law enforcement agents capture a shipment of illegal timber, they also often find illegally captured wildlife, illegal drugs, weapons and slaves” and that “revenue from illegally harvested timber has been linked to armed conflicts around the world.”
To find out how Wiedenhoeft works to combat these disastrous consequences, and learn about some of the wild cases he’s worked on over the years, read the full article at Isthmus.com.