There is a clear need for the U.S. to fully enforce the Lacey Act, the most effective tool we have to stop illegal logging and associated trade, and hold companies accountable for importing illegally harvested timber.
On an otherwise ordinary Thursday this fall, officers from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement raided the corporate headquarters of Lumber Liquidators, the top-selling flooring retailer in America, in Toano, Virginia.
Remember when concert tours were eco-friendly? Yeah, me neither. But this, "said no one ever," is potentially on its way to being a, "said everyone." Reverb, a non-profit, is working to green-ify music tours and do outreach and education.
Last year, Tea Party Members of Congress temporarily persuaded GOP leadership to abandon their usual political acuity and launch a series of attacks on the Lacey Act, one of America's most successful environmental and economic laws. You'd think this might be too much even for the Tea Party.
Some of the world's greatest and most vital forests are currently being threatened by illegal exploitation. The Lacey Act not only helps save these woodlands from destruction, but it also supports indigenous communities who are protecting their lands from illegal encroachment.
The Lacey Act is under attack by some companies and Members of Congress and House Leadership is pushing for this bill to come up for a vote by the whole House before the end of July. Passage of this bill would be devastating for efforts to address deforestation.
It is time to stand up against illegal logging and for American business, musicians that want instruments that are untainted, American workers, companies that want legal wood, and communities around the world devastated by deforestation.
Two days ago, I pointed out Senator Rand Paul mislead the public regarding the arrest of two men for violating the Lacey Act by illegally harvesting lobsters. Senator Paul responded and implied that it was I, in fact, who was misleading the public.
I was disappointed to read Rep. Blumenauer's piece on this site titled "Truth Takes A Back Seat in Lacey Act Hearing." In that piece, Rep. Blumenauer called me a liar and proceeded to set forth a series of unsubstantiated claims.
On August 24, agents from the Fish and Wildlife Service raided the facilities of my company, Gibson Guitar. The raid has ignited a furious debate around a seminal environmental protection statute -- the Lacey Act.