Even if it’s as available, stable, and beautiful as can be, you may be wondering how responsible the harvesting of Sapele is. And that’s a valid concern. Once you understand the fact that buying lumber actually increases its value, you’re still right to be concerned about over-harvesting of a species, particularly one that’s been newly discovered and growing in popularity. In fact, Western Africa is still recovering from this very issue, and African hardwoods in general are always at risk.
Local Sources for Sapele
Here at J. Gibson McIlvain, we put a lot of time and effort into researching dependable, responsible sources for our lumber. We’ve found that as awareness has grown and strict controls have been enforced, Sapele is recovering well. Both Cote d’Ivoire and Sierra Leone have created Sapele plantations, and The Congo continues to be one of the greatest sources of Sapele, even amid political unrest. Logging companies have adopted strict regulation and verification schemes such as TLTV and VLO. J. Gibson McIlvain purchases all our Sapele from TLTV stock, allowing us to have easily documented, verifiable supply chains that prove the sustainable and responsible harvesting of the logs.
Careful Shipping of Sapele
The kind of documentation provided by the TLTV does more than ensure legality and put our minds at ease, in these days of Lacey Act legislation: It also helps make sure that you, as the buyer, know exactly what you’re getting. Since the African Mahoganies are often shipped together, many customers can think they’re purchasing Sapele, when what they’re really getting is a variety of species, many of which fall short of the stability and appearance of Sapele. (If you’re sourcing your Sapele from another supplier, make sure to ask about provenance documentation so you can be sure you’re actually getting legally and responsibly harvested Sapele.)
Well-Maintained Inventory of Sapele
As the many benefits of Sapele become increasingly well known, our guess is that this species’ popularity will continue to climb and branch out into more and more industries. As a result, we’re dedicated to stocking our lumber yard with hundreds of thousands of board feet, as well as a constant flow of inbound stock ready to be dried to North American standards. We maintain the highest standards of quality when it comes to how we mill, dry, and ship lumber for our customers.
You can help make sure this valuable lumber resource remains available by continuing to purchase it from lumber dealers who understand the importance of well-documented sources as well as proper drying and milling techniques. By doing so, you’ll be doing your part to make sure quality sawyers, importers, and suppliers stay in business and continue to flourish while those who abuse our natural resources lack the incentive to continue causing damage.