Rain Forest Adventures incorrectly claims eco-friendly affiliation

POSTED: 01/20/12 12:55 PM

St. Maarten – Rain Forest Adventures, the American company that intends to develop a rain forest adventure park on the Emilio Wilson Estate incorrectly claims on its web site to be affiliated with Tread Lightly!, a Salt Lake City based environmental non-profit organization with a mission to promote responsible outdoor recreation through ethics education and stewardship programs.

On the web site rainforestadventure.com the company mentions under the headline Affiliations – Organizations and Association affiliated with Rainforest Adventures three organizations. They are the America Outdoor Organization, the South and Central America Travel Association and Tread Lightly! (The exclamation mark is part of the name – ed.)
In emails of which this newspaper obtained copies, a Tread Lightly member services manager writes initially that she is unaware that Rainforest Adventures is a member. “It looks like they are just displaying our principles.”
On further questioning, that Rainforest Adventures is actually claiming a relationship with Thread Lightly! the same member services manager notes: “At one point it looks like they were an Outfitter member under the name Rain Forest Trams, but they have fallen inactive. You must be a member of Tread Lightly! to display our logo and I have emailed them to let them know their membership is inactive. I invited them to renew their membership or to remove our logo from their page.”
The email is dated January 17, but yesterday the Tread Lightly!-logo was still up on the Rain Forest Adventures web site.

Environmental organizations in St. Maarten oppose the Rainforest Adventure Park in the Emilio Wilson Estate and have on occasion accused the company of greenwashing its activities. The claim to an apparent non-existent affiliation with Tread Lightly seems to confirm this.
Rain Forest Adventures Chief Engineer John Dalton wrote an extensive letter to the editor (published elsewhere) yesterday in which he underlines the company’s good intentions. Dalton refers to cooperation with the local archeological foundation Simarc, a commitment of $1 per visitor to reforestation programs, preparedness to facilitate environmentally friendly agricultural stations with crops like sugar cane and tobacco, and so on.

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Comments (1)


  1. A whole bunch of blah blah. Do you remember when the Indigo Bay project talked about replanting all of the indigenous trees that were uprooted. It’s all a bunch of chat to make people believe that they care more about our environment than their profit. Yeah, right!