The June shipment of 1,250 sawn logs from India was classified as "finished parts of musical instruments," which is allowed under Indian law. In reality, according to the sworn affidavit of Fish and Wildlife Service agent Kevin Seiler, the wood was unfinished, which is a violation of the Lacey Act.
The Lacey Act, originally passed by Congress in 1900, was amended in 2008 to include protection for certain wood and endangered animal species, which totally makes sense, but it also makes it illegal to import plants or wildlife into the U.S. if those goods are harvested in a way that violates the laws of another country.
That's the whole crux of the matter. Because Indian workers didn’t create the final product, the wood is not legally eligible to be exported, which means that we may be seeing more and more guitars made from inferior tone woods in the future. This just about eliminates the use of any tone woods not harvested in the United States, and most of the good forests are protected already.
Let's see - protect our forests or get good tone? A tough choice for some, but simple for others. Which side are you on?
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