OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

LEED certification vs. Oregon wood industry

Why, you ask, don't all those Oregon forest owners just call up FSC and get themselves LEED legal? The answer -- surprise! -- is complicated, and it has a lot to do with the nature of west-side Oregon forests and with modest differences between the programs themselves. "Substantively, there isn't a huge difference" between the two programs' requirements here, says Kevin Boston, a professor at Oregon State University's college of forestry. But small differences can matter, and one, he points out, involves maximum clear-cut size. While clear-cuts may not be popular, they're appropriate in forests dominated by Douglas fir, a species that needs full sunlight to regenerate.