An international crackdown on the use of endangered woods from the world’s rain forests to make musical instruments bubbled over to Music City on Tuesday with a federal raid on Gibson Guitar ‘s manufacturing plant, but no arrests.
Agents of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service made a midday appearance and served a search warrant on company officials at Gibson’s Massman Drive manufacturing plant, where it makes acoustic and electric guitars.
Gibson issued a statement saying it is “fully cooperating with agents of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service as it pertains to an issue with harvested wood.” The company said it did nothing wrong.
Federal officials declined to say whether anything was removed from Gibson’s plant or what specifically the agents were trying to find. But some exotic hardwoods traditionally used in making premium guitars, such as rosewood from the rain forests of Madagascar and Brazil, have been banned from commercial trade because of environmental concerns under a recently revised federal law.
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