Now of course this no-usage on Brazilian Rosewood happened as far back as the 1970s. However, a microcosm at best compared to the entire size of the greater Amazon basin…luthiers and even the smallest of artisans could procure the woods necessary to complete, moreover, to compete at levels of the Gibson, Fender, Guild, Heritage, or even an occasional classical guitar or maybe even an acoustic made of Brazilian Rosewood such as the infamous C.E. Martin of (any) vintage age.
Gibson was raided on two separate occasions in Nashville, Tennessee and a separate raid on the company’s Memphis, Tennessee plant. From a NPR recording and Henry Juszkiewicz, CEO of Gibson release at press conference:
“We had a raid,” he said, “with federal marshals that were armed, that came in, evacuated our factory, shut down production, sent our employees home and confiscated wood.”
The raids at two Nashville facilities and one in Memphis recalled a similar raid in Nashville in November 2009, when agents seized a shipment of ebony from Madagascar.
They were enforcing the Lacey Act, a century-old endangered species law that was amended in 2008 to include plants as well as animals. But Juszkiewicz says the government won’t tell him exactly how — or if — his company has violated that law.
Let’s get right down to the Lacey Act and including the steps between getting to where the Department of Justice gets involved. It is at this point where Henry Juszkiewicz, Gibson’s attorneys, and apparently DOJ and the U.S. Government have lost their focus and through haste indeed trounced a person’s natural rights.
The original Lacey Act of 1900 bears the name of the individual who originally brought the legislation. It is important to understand this act and subsequent amendments thereto are far more about conservation than out-sourcing. (Think Salmon.)
Furthermore, we feel that it is of paramount importance to at the very least mention with an abusive government such as the agencies that raided Gibson is far more reminiscent of the tyrannical behavior that spurned the Colonial generation to take up matters.
The entire issue is about wood, and the sound that is made from a vibrating string that carries over and through the woods used in the guitars manufacturing process. (Please click here for further detailed explanation.)
As promised the initial receiving of this wood (tone wood, hard wood) is done by any government appointed special interest group or environmentalist whackos. The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) is an NGO founded in 1984 by Dave Currey, Jennifer Lonsdale and Allan Thornton, three environmental activists in the United Kingdom. The EIA is at the lowest end of the spectrum; however, receive the most credit insofar as tactic used gaining information.
As happenstance would have it a discrepancy in the import of this latest shipment of wood was indicated although amounted to nothing. It was listed with an improper tariff code, which the importer, Luthiers Mercantile International of Windsor, Calif., claimed was a clerical error by a junior employee and tried to clear up.
But rather than talk to the importer and Gibson about it, the Justice Department dispatched U.S. Fish and Wildlife and DHS agents to raid the Gibson compounds. By the way the USFW agency falls under the purview of the U. S. Dept. of Agriculture.
And lastly for this article one wonders if the president and the attorney general predicated upon recent embellishments and other news opts for this notion.
Protects jobs. Illegally-sourced foreign wood and wood products coming into the U.S. undercut the domestic market. This hurts American lumber companies that play by the rules, forcing them to compete with illegal overseas operations that log in national parks, evade taxes, and sometimes even use slave and child labor.
What if the woods are not available or indigenous to the North American forests? Just a quick note on the right & left photos; upper right shows that the fretboard is thinner than the whitest straight coupling; the Rosewood actually sits within that little thin and narrow space; left: Rosewood fretboard is thinner than the adjacent white lines.