As musicians from the classic rock band R.E.M. hit the airwaves with public service announcements urging consumers to buy tree-free paper, Team Dogwood, a national coalition of 14 outdoor businesses working to protect southern forests from being destroyed to make paper officially announced its formation. The coalition along with R.E.M., have joined in support of the southern environmental group, Dogwood Alliance, working to protect southern forests, rivers, and communities from the impacts of paper corporations&Mac226; irresponsible logging practices. “Dogwood Alliance is the lead organization working to protect forests in the American South,” said John Sterling, Director of Environmental Programs, Patagonia, Inc. “Team Dogwood is a visionary effort to organize businesses to speak out in support of protecting these forests.” As members of Team Dogwood, each company will promote protection of Southern forests to their customers and urge their customers to get involved. The announcement of the coalition follows a recent US Forest Service report documenting that there is more timber coming out of the South than any single nation in the world. The study, the Southern Forest Resource Assessment, reports over 5 million acres of forests are cut every year in the South to make paper. Team Dogwood includes the following: Dagger, Hooked on the Outdoors magazine, Nantahala Outdoor Center, Paddler Magazine, Patagonia Inc., Chaco Inc., Croakies Inc., EPX Bicycles, Fat Eddy’s Threadworks, Granite Gear, Immersion Research, Manastash, Orosi, Timbuk2Designs Inc., Windham Designs, Yakima Products Inc., and Half Moon Outfitters. To view the R.E.M. PSA or for more information on Team Dogwood, click on www.dogwoodalliance.org.