Feds Cracking down on Exotic Wood

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Forum topic by DrDirt posted 11-18-2009 09:46 PM 1738 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4424 posts in 3742 days

11-18-2009 09:46 PM

News item came in that the Government raided the Gibson Guitar plant in Nashville

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Federal agents on Tuesday raided a Gibson guitar manufacturing plant and seized guitars amid concerns about where the Nashville-based company obtains the fine woods that go into its instruments.
Television stations reported that authorities seized wood guitars and other items, but no one was arrested.

I think it is good that there is this level of awareness and actual action being taken. I do hope they are innocent of this.


-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

12 replies so far

View Rustic's profile


3253 posts in 3596 days

#1 posted 11-18-2009 10:03 PM

If they are buying from legal sources it should be a non issue. Sounds like there is a whistle blower in the company

--, Rick Kruse, Grand Rapids, MI

View RetiredCoastie's profile


999 posts in 3183 days

#2 posted 11-18-2009 10:10 PM

Probably another case of too much government intervention. They probably didn’t notice the illegal aliens working there but thank God they’re protecting us from that evil wood!

-- Proud Supporter of Homes For Our Troops

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 3286 days

#3 posted 11-18-2009 10:21 PM

I agree with RetiredCoastie. Maybe there was a good reason, or maybe just an unhappy employee
raising a stink to get even. Our wonderful government does love to throw it’s weight around. Seize first, ask questions later?

Gibson is a long time reputable company. I wonder if there was an investigation before the raid.

If they are in the wrong, then nail them for it.


View papadan's profile


3584 posts in 3368 days

#4 posted 11-18-2009 10:52 PM

They should be looking at the suppliers, they are the ones responsible for protecting the environment, not the end user of the products.

View Timberwerks's profile


360 posts in 3161 days

#5 posted 11-18-2009 10:58 PM

View DrDirt's profile


4424 posts in 3742 days

#6 posted 11-18-2009 11:33 PM

The challenge with focusing on supply – is of course it is hard to have that many resources out in every third world area that has officials corrupt enough to allow this.

In the forwm Timberwerks mentioned – at issue is getting rosewood from Madagascar which is illegal and Gibson knew it. But they “allegedly” bought through a middleman in Germany.
There are always unethical folks who know a guy who knows a guy that can get what you want.

Head of gibson is on the rainforest alliance, so they understand what is at stake – but it sounds a lot like someone in logistics/purchasing cut corners to make their bonuses and found a “Great deal on Rosewood” and someone with a backbone blew the whistle.
Government overstep… not so sure – someone had to show a judge there was enough cause to investigate/get the search warrants to go in and seize product and computers..

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View RexMcKinnon's profile


2593 posts in 3195 days

#7 posted 11-19-2009 12:12 AM

Lets just hope they have good evidence and were sure 100% postive before the raid and the raid was just to collect hard evidence. Imagine this happening to a business which is having trouble making ends meet. They are not guilty but someone points the finger making a good “maybe” case. By the time things are settled the company is bankrupt.

If Gibson is guilty then great but if they acted on the fact that someone said that they have some pretty wood so it must be illegal then that’s sad. In the end we will probably never know the truth in situations like this. We just know what media tells us.

The really sad part is; if it is true the wood will probably be destroyed. It should be sold and the money used to help prevent this in the future but that would make too much sense.

-- If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail!

View Julian's profile


880 posts in 3525 days

#8 posted 11-19-2009 12:38 AM

A government seizure? I’ll bet they do destroy the guitars. The feds can suck it! What a waste of resources…...

-- Julian, Park Forest, IL

View NathanAllen's profile


376 posts in 3144 days

#9 posted 11-19-2009 12:46 AM

I simply can’t agree that the entire onus is on the raw material supplier in the chain. Think of the pet food recall back in 2007. Who was ultimately responsible? The Offshore suppliers AND the executives for the US Company who were knowingly involved in dumping fake wheat gluten on the market.

It is the responsibility of the manufacturer to ensure their suppliers are providing raw materials are legal. Should Nike be allowed to knowingly purchase sweat shop components for their sneakers?

Whether or not Gibson Guitars is guilty of purchasing illegally harvested timber will be hard to prove, unless this was part of a sting operation.

Given the source of timber is damned near impossible to determine doesn’t it still make sense for an international company known for using endangered wood to use direct supply sources rather than purchasing on the spot third hand market?

View AbbyfromRA's profile


1 post in 3110 days

#10 posted 11-19-2009 05:50 PM

Check out what the Rainforest Alliance has to say about it all:

View closetguy's profile


744 posts in 3892 days

#11 posted 11-19-2009 08:05 PM

The Nashville plant is where they make all the Les Paul models. I’ll trade an illegal tree for a Les Paul any day.

-- I don't make mistakes, only design

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 3874 days

#12 posted 11-19-2009 11:39 PM


-- Happy woodworking!

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