These butcher block furniture products are made from expensive domestic hardwoods harvested in the Catskill Mountains in upstate New York: mostly hard rock maple or birch, which is similar to maple. The mfg. does not use any endangered species. Catskill protects its products with "Fair Oil" butcher block sealer. Fair Oil has a linseed oil base. Catskill recommends applying a coating of Fair Oil once a week for the first month and then once a month for the first few months. Company DOES NOT recommend staining butcher block islands or using a polyurethane or lacquer finish.