Response to Steffan Lessard.

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by TRichardsbass, Jul 16, 2013.

  1. TRichardsbass

    TRichardsbass Inactive Commercial User

    Jun 3, 2009
    Between Muscle Shoals and Nashville
    Bassgearu, Music Industry Consulting and Sales. Tech 21, NBE Corp, Sonosphere.
    Here is an article about Mr. Lessard's defense of the Lacey Act:

    While I applaud his fervor and general discussion on importing wood, it is clear he does not or has not truly read the act. There is a TON of ambiguity in it, so much so that players who have vintage instruments could possibly have them confiscated if they travel outside the US and bring them back in to the US after a gig. Stefan's really trusting this government way too much if he believes that they won't go after the individual just because they publically promise too. I bet he also didn't believe that his government would be collecting his emails, reviewing his taxes for political affiliation, etc.

    It also makes illegal any undocumented wood that a luthier may have in his possession, even if it was purchased thirty years ago when it was legal and has sat untouched for all that time. This type of purchase probably never had the required documentation, if it had any at all, and so you could not rebuild the document trail. There is a luthier near me who restores instruments for several museums including the Lourve. He has wood that is beyond illegal, purchased by his father in the 1970's, and there is no available documentation anymore. I can only pray they don't need an excuse to prosecute someone under the act and go his way.

    Also, it places an incredible burden on the manufacturers to have to go three or four tiers down the supply chain of their suppliers which is often impossible to to. I mean, honestly, if I go to any OCONUS supplier and verify their shop and company, and maybe their first tier supplier, I have no control over if they contract some of that out or if they actually do what they say they are after I leave. Yet I, as a builder, am responsible.

    If an African wood supplier certifies my wood is from a particular country or region, there is little I can do to verify it unless I personally cut down the tree. And with all the watchdog groups in the world, they might just follow that one now illegal rosewood tree that was in Brazil that some uneducated farmer cut down while clearing farmland for his cows and sold to a wood guy in Ecuador who then processed it and sent it to Mexico where I bought it and the Mexican guy swears and certifies he got it from Ecuador. Can Stefan not see that?

    The changes to the law, as far as I know and have discussed with my congressman, will alleviate the instances I documented above and still protect rare woods that are now heading toward extinction.

    I will put the call out now. Mr. Lessard, contact me. I have basses that are made of sustainable woods that I can certify meet your criteria. Buy one from me. And play it.

    Oh, and Stefan, where did the rosewood on your '67 J bass come from? Probably Brazil. Are you going to no longer play your bass because of that? If you play it, to me you are being hypocritical.

    My two cent rant.