Several government agencies are involved in an investigation of Lumber Liquidators Holdings for possibly sourcing their wood from illegal logging operations. The company’s offices have been searched by investigators, and their stock has taken a hit despite improved profits in the last quarter.
I would guess we all have heard about the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s raid on the Gibson Guitar company on August 25th. If you haven’t, you need to push back the rock a little.
The U. S. Attorney’s Office in Tennessee originated the warrants for possible violations of the Lacey Act, as amended in 2008. This act makes it illegal to import any wood or any item containing wood that was harvested, manufactured, or exported in any way contrary to the laws of the originating country. In other words, when Gibson imported wood from India, if any Indian laws were broken in doing so, then the wood becomes contraband and then Gibson is liable for illegally importing that wood into the United States.
You may have read my recent blog post about woodcarving traditions carried on by Kamba tribesmen in Kenya. I’ll call that the highlight of my “wood-related” African travelog.
There was a lowlight, too: charcoal production. Its carbonized and troubling evidence was stacked in bags along the highways wherever we went.