It’s The Feds! Quick, Flush The Wood
Rather an odd piece of news this. Seems that federal agents raided Gibson’s guitar manufacturing plant in Nashville and seized guitars, wood and other items as evidence in a possible case of illegal use of restricted woods.
The use of some woods that are used in guitar-making is restricted and tightly controlled. For instance, it is almost impossible to properly source Brazilian rosewood (generally considered to be the most desirable) in any quantity. Restrictions exist on other tropical hardwoods and instrument-manufature tonewoods too. It looks like the Feds – or more specifically, the US Fish & Wildlife Service (it’s not exactly Jack Bauer kicking in the door, is it?) – are interested in where Gibson source some of their tonewoods.
Gibson released the following statement:
Today Gibson Guitar is fully cooperating with agents of the United States Fish & Wildlife Service as it pertains to an issue with harvested wood. As an FSC chain of custody certified buyer Gibson purchases wood from FSC certified and non certified suppliers ensuring that all certified products meet FSC requirements. Gibson Guitar Chairman and CEO sits on the board of the Rainforest Alliance and takes the issue of certification very seriously. Gibson Guitar makes every effort to ensure that all its wood purchases are legal and environmentally responsible. The company will continue to cooperate fully and assist our federal government with all inquiries and information.
It seems pretty unlikely that Gibson would knowingly work outside the restrictions on import and use of woods. We’ll watch this space though.
UPDATE: This space was watched and has now yielded some more news.