Friday, November 21, 2008

Addendum to Frequently Asked Questions

In July we began the Endowment Blog. The second in our series of postings dealt with what we termed the "Top Seven Questions Asked about the Endowment." While several months have passed that posting remains largely up-to-date. We did want to provide one addendum related to Washington Forest Law Center's (WFLC) actions regarding the U.S. Government and any relationship to the Endowment. Since the time of our earlier posting, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), has joined WFLC in a lawsuit against the U.S. Government. Here are the quick facts:

1. FSC as lead plaintiff filed a suit against the U.S. Government – specifically the U.S. Trade Representative’s office and others.

2. The suit follows a Freedom of Information challenge to the U.S. Government led by WFLC regarding the Government’s handling of certain decisions related to the Softwood Lumber Agreement (SLA) 2006.

3. The FSC suit is against the U.S. Government and does not name as defendants the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities or any of the other organizations granted funds under the SLA. The concerns raised by FSC/WFLC deal with how the U.S. Government made certain decisions related to the SLA trade deal with Canada. These are issues only the Government can address.

4. Other parties in the lawsuit are Conservation Northwest and the Center for Biological Diversity. Both had joined WFLC in its earlier Freedom of Information requests and legal challenges of the Government.

5. The U.S. Endowment is focused on the important work set-forth in our mission – healthy working forests and forest-reliant communities across America -- with a wide range of public and private partners.