Ipe Decking: An Excellent Sustainable Decking Material

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Ipe decking that is being harvested and sold today is the quintessential sustainable building material.  Ipe decking from Brazil is sustainably harvested, typically from the best quality subspecies of Tabebuia, including Tabebuia seratafolia and others. Sustainable yield forestry is designed and managed to ensure that there as many naturally growing, mature trees available at the end of a harvesting cycle as there are at the beginning of the harvesting cycle. It is imperative to harvest in this responsible manner and maintain proper environmental stewardship, to ensure the balance of nature and man living harmoniously.

My heart goes out to the coastal communities that have been devastated by the effects of Ipe decking is a sustainable decking for boardwalksHurricane Sandy and are scrambling to fix their boardwalks, piers and other structures to prevent economic havoc from a lost season of tourism industry income. I shake my head in disbelief at what is currently happening along the New Jersey shore. Recently, a self proclaimed “environmental” group threatened to delay the start of a boardwalk project unless the town used an inferior decking material. I read statements released to the press by this “environmental” group and found them to be totally inaccurate, recklessly uninformed and perhaps worse. They made comments that either suggested or outright stated that Ipe is not a sustainable material, that it harms people in the rain forest and is harmful to the environment. At best, that is ignorant and uninformed mis-infomation.

Nothing could be further from the truth. It makes me angry when I read uninformed comments from those who are either ignorant or oblivious to the realities of properly managed forestry and I am not going to sit silently by and let untruths, half truths and outright lies go unchallenged. I’d like to modify an old adage and say, ‘the only thing that allows ignorance to flourish is that informed people sit by and do nothing.’ Let’s set the record straight about Ipe decking and other tropical hardwood decking materials with some facts:

The Truth About Ipe Decking and Other Sustainably Harvested Hardwood decking Species

  • Ipe decking from Brazil is required by law to be harvested by sustainablesustainable yield forestry is good for the environment, the forest and the world forestry methods including FSC (Forest Stewardship Council)
  • The Forest Stewardship Council and other true environmental and human rights advocacy organizations, understand the benefits of sustainable yield forestry to the environment, the communities and the world.
  • All Ipe decking harvested in Brazil in rainforests and other harvesting areas is sustainably harvested
  • Sustainable yield forestry allows roughly only one mature tree per acre to be harvested.
  • Sustainable yield forestry allows just enough light to penetrate to allow the canopy and under canopy layers of the forest to flourish.
  • Sustainable harvesting of Brazilian Ipe and other hardwood species is helpful and ensures economic opportunities for residents of the rainforest and other harvesting areas
  • IBAMA and SEMA monitor all harvesting activities in Brazil and have virtually eliminated illegal or unsanctioned logging that occurred occasionally several decades ago
  • All Ipe decking imported from Brazil must have legal documentation that it was legally and sustainably harvested in order to enter the United States
  • The Lacey Act in the US prevents any illegally harvested wood products from entering the United States
  • Ipe decking lasts longer than virtually any other decking materials, naturally and beautifully.
  • Part of sustainability refers to the life cycle of decking material and overall life cycle costs. Ipe decking has been analyzed and found to be one of the longest lasting decking material options and also the lowest cost decking material for overall life cycle costs per year.

Learn more about Ipe decking and sustainably harvested hardwood decking and lumber by following any of the links below:

Sustainable Ipe decking

Project Ideas using Sustainable Ipe Wood

Sustainable Ipe Decking vs. Synthetic Decking

Environmentally friendly harvesting

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