From their home to yours

posted by Brant Ran

It’s been a good two days.

Yesterday, Bonnie and I met with one of Weyerhaeuser’s customers in the Seattle region. Bonnie delivered a letter stating that “This notice is to advise you that you are taking part the destruction of our Traditional Territory and you are being given fair notice that this will not be tolerated.” Then she invited them out to her Mother’s fishing lodge in Grassy Narrows. We got a thumbs-up on the visit, but they needed some time to respond to the letter. Fair enough.

This morning, I visited a BMC West building supply to see if I could find any of the products that we traced back to clear-cut logging in Grassy Narrows. I wanted a visual aide to help explain the connection between Grassy Narrows and Quadrant Homes. Sure enough, I found two big stacks of Timberstrand LSL with the tell-tale “MADE IN CANADA” markings. A few minutes later, I had a trunk full of incriminating lumber and was off to meet Bonnie and her friends at a new Quadrant Homes development just down the road from Weyerhaeuser’s headquarters in Federal Way.Model HomesWe met up with Marcelene Edwards, a reporter with the Tacoma News Tribune and took a walking tour of the development including homes under construction bearing the tell tale marks. Bonnie described her frustration at seeing forests from her homeland used to make luxury homes even has her own community struggles to provide basic housing for many of its people.

Bonnie meets RonAfter our walk, Bonnie decided to take a tour of one of the model homes on display near the Quadrant sales office. Ron, on security detail for Weyerhaeuser, didn’t let that happen. He said that tours were only for customers and asked Bonnie if she intended to buy one. She said she could be but that she was more interested in seeing the homes built with wood taken from her homeland. Ron didn’t budge. I gave him my card and asked to set up an appointment for Bonnie. We’ll see.

For dinner, we met up with Bruce Herbert of Newground Social Investments. Bruce–bless him– is the investment advisor who was escorted out of Weyerhaeuser’s shareholder meeting last year because he asked a question from the floor. Following a lashing from Gretchen Morgenson at the New York Times (and, I can only imagine, shareholders), Weyerhaeuser has opted to take questions from the floor this year. Bonnie, Bruce and I look forward to attending.