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Bad News

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Luke Sheridan, Oct 20, 2005.

  1. Luke Sheridan

    Luke Sheridan Commercial User

    Dec 30, 2004
    Yonkers, NY
    I build guitars and sell them. Strings, too
  2. Basschair

    Basschair .............. Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca
  3. Geoff St. Germaine

    Geoff St. Germaine Commercial User

    I had been talking with some guys involved in conservation biology at the University of Alberta a couple of weeks ago. I have decided that all future instruments are going to be built using only certain domestic woods where there is a considerable (albeit not enough) regulation to limit environmental impact. One of the guys I was talking to (who is a good friend from high school) has been surveying the logging of old growth forests in Western Canada for the past few years. It's actually kind of horrible even here. He was talking about some interesting new techniques that some conservation groups are trying to get government backing on, such as some sort of logging action that would mimic the shapes of natural forms of forest destruction (fires).

    Actually, I was going to start a thread about suitable domestic woods for use in building. Mainly I was thinking about fretboards as maple is the only NA domestic that comes immediately to mind. There's always Larry's impregnated woods too... so that opens it up to pretty much anything.
  4. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    What a mess about the forest. There is a place near my work that makes moulding for houses and churches. They sometimes use Mahogany. I have been able to get a lot of it from the huge "scraps" they have left. So in a way I am recycling it. :D
  5. Absolute crap from a "news source" with more agendas than the Tri-lateral Commission. :rolleyes:

    There is probably no more an environmentally sound method of harvesting naturally grown trees than selective harvesting. Even the figures sound waaayyy out of whack.
  6. Luke Sheridan

    Luke Sheridan Commercial User

    Dec 30, 2004
    Yonkers, NY
    I build guitars and sell them. Strings, too
    Well, I wouldn't necessarily call it crap. Anyway you look at it, it's disturbing. BBC cited a report from the journal Nature.


    AP will have a story in next week's newspapers on the "biopiracy" thats said to be going on down there.
  7. Tdog


    May 18, 2004
    Remember that this is the BBC....They seldom give you the entire story.....Deforestation has been going on in that region for over 60+ years (that I am aware of), mostly related to farmers clear-cutting to create pasture land for beef cattle....and then burning the felled timber. The lumber companies are also to blame, as are the South American governments for their poor land management policies, but the clear-cutting for cheap hamburgers hardly gets a mention.
  8. Tdog


    May 18, 2004
    I'm with Hambone here.....Selective harvesting is the way to go...the preferred method of harvesting......Timber piracy is a different matter.
  9. Basschair

    Basschair .............. Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca
    I just realized something: if the world warms up enough, maybe the trees which grow tropically will begin growing further away from the equator. Imagine, ebony growing right in your backyard! Of course, that won't be any comfort if your state is under water...
  10. Geoff St. Germaine

    Geoff St. Germaine Commercial User

    With the amount of damage the rainforest is taking I'd rather see no additional harvesting. It's unrealistic for it to be 0, but I won't be purchasing any more tropical woods (this was decided before this article, so don't worry about that).
  11. Giraffe

    Giraffe Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    San Diego, California
    I agree with Geoff. The market drives most of the damage, and I don't want to be part of that force anymore. It would be great if we could all pacify ourselves with rationalizations about responsibly harvested tropicals, but we have to live in the world the way it is today, not the way we'd like it to be, or the way it should be. I can't imagine any of those governments are motivated to or capable of limiting logging to sound, selective foresting methods that make the most sense now. As long as people, including ourselves, support the price of that wood, greedy people are going to cut it down. If we stop paying, they will stop cutting and find something else to do.

    Geoff has identified the least attractive course of action, which also looks like the right course. Good enough for me. Congratulations for not taking a self-serving approach to the problem! Good character is great!
  12. Zetora


    Aug 16, 2004
    This is an old debate ... to a point I am sure you know what I mean by that. Yes something needs to be done, yes stop buying if you feel that is right, I dont think I will be buying either. One of the best methods I know is the sustainable foresting, ever tree cut down, 2 more up, that could be enforced more, as it isn't often enough from what I have heard, which is the problem, we only "hear" of this sort of thing. Yes cutting the trees down reduces the amount of carbon absorbed by the trees, but where does that come from? The governments use these articles to bring it to our attention, which is all good, I have no dispute with that as it may sound I do from what I say a bit later on this.

    Though they bring it to our attention, but it just pushes other factors of it out the way, it reduces the amount of carbon absorbed, but that carbon comes from industry and vehicles, along with other sources of course. But those two sources could have so much more done to reduce the carbon produced. The best things we can do is try and be energy effecient, yeah I am sure you've heard a lot about this recently as it is a big on-going issue, and an important one.

    There are so many factors to this you can't just consider one and try to clear that up a bit, though saying that I am not saying its pointless consentraiting on one factor, but just keep your mind open. Mine may sound pretty closed from the way I've came across in this post, though I do assure you it isn't, just try and do what you can if your concerned, not let that concern fade, it's a major issue lots overlook, I do myself, as it is easy to do.

    Please bring up queries with my post here, I enjoy topics of convo like this, its a subject I enjoy to share what knowledge I have on it.

  13. Basschair

    Basschair .............. Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca
    I'd be interested in knowing how much deforrestation is due to consumer demand of exotic woods and how much is due to things such as clear-cutting and burning to make way for use of the land. Anyone have a general idea about this, or for a governmental (or non-) resource for this type of information?
  14. Geoff St. Germaine

    Geoff St. Germaine Commercial User

    This site would indicate that commercial logging is the single largest cause of rainforest destruction. This is taking into account that roads created strictly for logging are used by landless farmers to gain access to the rainforest where they begin slashing and burning to allow for subsistence agriculture. These people then have to move every 1 to 2 years because the soil in the rainforest is not suitable for agriculture.


    I honestly don't know how accurate it is, especially since it seems that no one keeps very good track of what is being cut. Also, there are differences in the causes from country to country. That said, every site I visited ranked commercial logging in the top 5 causes of rainforest destruction. Even selective logging isn't very good. The rainforest foundation estimates that one hectare of rainforest is destroyed in order to selectively log a single mahogany tree. Selective logging doesn't mean that a couple of guys walk in and chop a tree down with some handsaws and axes (obviously). The WWF states that 45-74% of trees remaining after selective logging in selective logging zones are damaged or destroyed. The International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) has stated that the amount of sustainable logging occuring in the world's rainforests was negligible.
  15. For the sake of clarity, I would ask just how much of which species each of us has acquired over that last year that specifically came from a "rainforest".

    I can safely say none.
  16. Geoff St. Germaine

    Geoff St. Germaine Commercial User

    I'd have to say:


    The amounts I personally used were quite small, but most likely more than most other people.
  17. Rene


    Mar 8, 2004
    To make a bass, it takes only 6.5 to 7 sq.ft of wood.
    So i think it will take a long time to kill a forest.
    You make a lot of basses with a single tree

  18. ..Or maybe they will find someone else that actually buy it.....

    My family work in the wood buisinnes since 1951, and this problem is not new, at the beginning of the '60 companies started to deal with african woods, because of the scarce availeability of "good" european woods,
    Few years agò they moved back to the "former" eastern europe to cut down woods where nobody took care of cutting anything for almost 50 years, being "european"woods cheaper than importing woods from Africa...

    buisinnes as usual.

    people will need woods anyway, and will buy the best woods money can buy, no matter where it comes from, don't forget that musical instruments making is just a very little part of the full picture, if you want to change something you must work on human rights first, making those people in need in the same position as YOU are, if they're starving, don't expect they stop cutting trees if that mean feed theyr families,

    actually China is starting exporting woods as well, how are you going to stop this competition?

    Do you think that people is not going to buy chinese woods if it's good and cheaper?

    Where is it going to lead this fact?

    wood is going to be cheaper, and countries are going to cut more and more to offer woods cheaper and cheaper,as far as this is going to feed theyr people.....

    and south american people "wish" to have everything that the "north americans and europeans" have (they actually have television and internet already, so they can see, and they "wish" and "need" as you do in the nothern part of the world) .

    Maybe if all of us, start thinking in a certain way, something can change in the long run, but we should look in "our house" first, and work to make other people free from basic needs first, than maybe they will be more willing to respect the planet they WILL feel part of, actually I think they don't feel to "belong" to this planet (it actually belong to those with power and money, a lot of ), they only belong to themself, with theyr problems to survive day by day,

    do you really think they would care about a forest?

    and do you really think that big woods companies are going to close down to "save the planet" (not making HUGE profits anymore) ?

    If you don't buy , someone else will do, as far as the price is better ( and how you can obtain better price?finding someone to be underpayed, ask to a mexican guy if they actually get payed as you are, but they "need "more than you do, so....).


  19. Geoff St. Germaine

    Geoff St. Germaine Commercial User

    It's still wood I'd rather see alive than cut down for woods that I don't have to use in a bass. Especially rainforest woods. Additionally, as far as the rainforest goes, a lot of trees that are desireable for cutting do not grow together in dense stands, so they must be selectively found. The result is that the cutting must occur over a larger area of forest than say cutting lodgepole pine in Alberta. This requires more roads and more disturbance of the rainforest to get the few desirable trees. Also, there's more damage done to a forest by commercial logging than is the direct result of the logging.
  20. Geoff St. Germaine

    Geoff St. Germaine Commercial User

    Well, no, if I don't buy there is no direct replacement. This is how complacency is bred in the consumption of goods. It's like someone driving the most humungous truck, burning the most gas and justifying it by saying that if he didn't do it someone else would have bought it in his place. No, they would simply build another truck for the guy if he wanted it. And if I don't buy that truck, there will be one less out there.