Science, Tech & Environment

VIDEO: Environmentalists find sensitive trees turned into building materials for Olympics

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Environments are criticizing Ta Ann and Forestry Tasmania for cutting down trees slated to be protected by a conservation deal reached earlier this year. (Photo from ABCau video.)

Australian environmentalists are outraged after they found high-conservation timber at an Olympic construction site in London.

Markets for Change found plywood from Malaysian company Ta Ann at a site being constructed for Americans at the London Olympics.

"We managed to sourced timber by Ta Ann from within the 572,000 hectares earmarked for moratorium back in March of this year to Olympic training facilities," said Louise Morris, an environment activist.

Story continues beneath video.

But Ta Ann says not so fast. They insist this particular load of wood was shipped to the UK years ago, and that they only use regrowth wood in their products.

In fact, they say, Australians should be positively excited that Tasmanian lumber is being used in building the Olympic Village.

"We're stoked, said David Ridley, director of Ta Ann Tasmania. "It recognizes that it's a great product."

The Australian government agreed in March to protect the more than 500,000 acres of sensitive forest, but so far has done little in the way of implementation. Particularly troubling to enviornmentalists it the fact that all of the logging is done by a government-owned company, Forrestry Tasmania.

Forestry Tasmania admitted that it is logging in the conservation area but say the area it uses is a small fraction of the area to be protected — less than 1 percent.