Increased logging in the rural South harms environment while major nonprofit group fails to engage, grantee shows

A logging truck enters a wood-pellet plant in Ahoskie, North Carolina. Joby Warrick / The Washington Post via Getty Images

The timber industry has claimed that logging actually helps address climate change – a claim disputed by most environmentalists but supported by the Nature Conservancy, the largest such nonprofit in the country, which has been dogged by accusations that its ties to large corporations compromise its focus on its mission. In a new investigation for Grist, with support from the Fund, Christopher Ketcham dug into the logging industry’s claims and accusations from more than 150 environmental groups that the Nature Conservancy is providing cover for corporate polluters. His reporting focused on the rural South, which has seen a sharp uptick in logging that has destroyed forests and had a direct impact on the local environment and the health of local residents – and that the Nature Conservancy has largely ignored.