Retreating from a proposal to make Santa Monica one of the first cities in the nation to ban the sale of wood from tropical rain forests, the City Council on Tuesday instead decided to prohibit itself from buying the environmentally taboo wood.
The council also tabled a watered-down proposal, which would have required local businesses that sell such wood to post signs stating tropical deforestation is harmful to the environment, pending a 90-day review by the city staff on how such an ordinance could be enforced.
On a 4-3 vote, with council members William H. Jennings, Ken Genser and David B. Finkel voting no, the council approved a ban on city purchases of the wood without the provisions for a sales ban or sign posting.
The sales-ban proposal was dropped after City Atty. Robert M. Myers suggested that such a prohibition would be difficult to enforce given the wide range of products in which tropical rain forest wood could be found.