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Tell Congress to protect tiger habitats

One major driver of forest degradation is illegal logging, which includes the harvesting, transporting, processing, buying or selling of timber in violation of national laws.

As one of the world's largest consumers of forest products, the US can play a key role in deterring illegally sourced timber and protecting important habitats for wild tigers.

In 2008, Congress recognized the threats of deforestation to wildlife and people by amending the Lacey Act of 1900 to prohibit illegal timber and timber products from entering the US market.

It's critical that we implement the Lacey amendments to the fullest extent and realize the benefits they can have for forests and species around the globe.

Sumatran tiger WWF-Indonesia

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Dear  [Decision Maker],

In 2008, Congress stood with industry, environmental and labor organizations to pass groundbreaking amendments to the Lacey Act of 1900, prohibiting illegally sourced timber products from entering the US market.

These amendments were a direct response to the alarming destruction of forests around the globe and the $1 billion in annual costs to the US timber industry caused by the illegal timber market.

Since the passage of the amendments, companies are making smarter sourcing decisions and monitoring their supply chains.

Despite limited funding, the US government has made some positive changes that reinforce and support improvements in the private sector. But more work is needed to fully realize the benefits of the 2008 Lacey Act amendments for forests around the globe.

I ask that you support fiscal 2016 funding that will generate the following actions to stop the flow of illegal timber into US markets,

1. Automating the declaration system of the US Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and maximizing the number of products subject to Lacey Act review

2. Increasing the US Fish and Wildlife Service Office of Law Enforcement's ability to investigate Lacey Act violations, including hiring additional attachés in critical range states, strengthening the capacity of forensic labs to monitor evidence, and training a new class of law enforcement officers

3. Hiring two additional prosecutors in the Department of Justice Environmental Crimes Section

4. Supporting the US Department of State's outreach efforts to producers in supply and processing countries on the requirements and implications of the Lacey Act amendments

Thank you for your dedication to protecting our world's precious forests.

[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]