There's an interesting Op Ed piece in today's NY Times by Kathryn Marie Dudley. She discusses the Lacey Act which seeks to assure that wood entering the US is legally obtained within its country of origin. The substance or inciting principle of the Lacey Act is laudable inasmuch as the world's forests are facing severe dangers–some types of wood are on the verge of extinction, others have already vanished. The intent of the act is clear: if you're importing rare wood into this country you must ascertain that it was legally harvested. Ms. Dudley's editorial rightly points out that the Lacey Act may well hurt independent or small guitar makers and that the act needs to be reexamined to protect luthiers who are not big time makers of instruments. A further analysist of the issue (and a particuarly good one at that) comes from Bob Taylor of Taylor Guitars whose comments on the act can be read here.
I support the Lacey Act, and agree that it needs some thoughtful ammending. I am also a proud owner of three Taylor guitars.