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Ban of Rosewood, Cocobolo, et al---Effect on Traditionals?

Discussion in 'Traditional Folders and Fixed Blades' started by AFAustin, Aug 27, 2018.

  1. Yonose


    Jul 10, 2017
    I read back in the 90’s that in the country of Bhutan harvesting wood from any living tree(ie cutting rather than collecting from naturally fallen trees) carried such a severe penalty—and more importantly had broad public support—such that there was no or almost no illegal timber trade at the time. I don’t know if this is still the case or not.
    I think a single tree fallen from a lightning strike could provide enough handles for as many knives as demand would require.
    I also agree that hardwoods are more precious resource standing than cut to nubs and replaced by pines.
  2. Astronaut FX

    Astronaut FX

    Apr 8, 2018
    Interesting video

    dieale2, Travman, sitflyer and 7 others like this.
  3. oldmanrunning


    Apr 22, 2013
    Oh dear i have inbound a GEC #38 Special with Exotic Mexican Bocote Wood covers, tracking tells me it is in Chicago at this time, now i shall be all of a quiver until it reaches me, i doubt the customs would inform the recipient of its of its seizure so it is fingers crossed this week.
  4. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    The fear factor. I pretty much don't recognize CITES' authority worldwide. That of course doesn't mean much since who the hell am I? But I do recognize that one needs to use natural resources wisely and that includes elephant ivory. China are you paying attention?
    WinchesteRalox likes this.
  5. knifeswapper

    knifeswapper Knife Peddler Dealer / Materials Provider

    Sep 3, 2004
    I pretty much don't recognize the seat belt laws either ;)
    Still illegal, still can be a detriment to my well being.

    CITES seems like a weird bird as they will let the source countries place species on the lists. And I guess our duty is to trust the source countries know the status of their resources. But I do agree that customers and dealers have to view it a bit differently.
  6. Don W

    Don W Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 31, 2012
    Ask the guys at Gibson Guitars what happens when you dont follow the rules. I am not saying any of this is good, bad or otherwise, but it makes you reevaluate how you do business when armed federal marshals confiscate your property and shut you down.
    Amir Fleschwund and Astronaut FX like this.
  7. Jack Black

    Jack Black Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 2, 2005
    I thought that video was fascinating and hugely informative :) I'd recommend that anyone, like me, who loves jet-black ebony watch it :thumbsup: I had a great deal of trouble getting black ebony for this year's Guardians Lambsfoot knives, and now I can see why :eek: :thumbsup:
  8. AFAustin

    AFAustin Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 8, 2004
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2018
    Jack Black and Astronaut FX like this.
  9. Horsewright

    Horsewright KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 4, 2011
    Here's how we deal with it. Bottom line of the description in red.


    Net result, an importer of hardwoods can still import these woods. They will recoup that fee, I will pay more, you will pay more and it limits my sales. Will it work, doubt it. Will it work, hope so. Are there tree species that need protecting? Absolutely. I'm just instinctually distrustful of this type of thing. I'm a little shy of rousing success stories.
    Amir Fleschwund and JohnDF like this.
  10. Chui

    Chui Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 10, 2012
    .....brilliant. Thank you for sharing :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:

    The 'truth of the forest' has analogies to today's world over and over
  11. lambertiana

    lambertiana Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 7, 2000
    I have encountered this already from the standpoint of a customer. I wanted to buy an Otter knife that was only available from a European seller. Due to it's African Blackwood handle, they had to add on the fee. It made the knife too expensive for me to buy.

    As far as I know, bocote is not affected by this.
  12. seabil


    Apr 8, 2015
    All rosewoods are under the restrictions, even bubinga which is called a rosewood even though it’s not. Includes cocobolo, Kingwood, African Blackwood and many many more. It’s not ban or outlawing of the woods. It is a legal convention that makes it so that wood exported has to have papers that is was legally harvested and exported. But there are a few that really can’t be moved around, Brazilian rosewood being one. For the rest it’s complicated and expensive as noted above for the end users, us, if we want to travel with some items, or sell outside our country, no papers on the rosewood it can get seized and possible legal problems.

    The reason is China. They have a big market for rosewood furniture and other items. A billion people came into money, wanted rosewood and are buying every stick of rosewood. Caused lots of illegal cutting, gangs got into it, etc. The demand is wiping out some species. So the restrictions.

    Wood in country is not effected. Once that gets used up, then we won’t see much and it will be expensive. I love rosewood on knives, so I am not happy about the situation.
  13. JohnDF

    JohnDF Gold Member Gold Member

    May 14, 2018
    I guess that makes my little Queen Trapper that much more special. The rosewood handles are beautiful, and I guess getting rare.

    Last edited: Aug 29, 2018
    Travman and knowtracks like this.
  14. seabil


    Apr 8, 2015
    One more thing - Ebony is heading the same direction as the Rosewoods. If the source countries do not get a hand on how it’s being cut soon it will be gone.

    Taylor guitars supposedly bought up a big chunk of the African ebony logging rights to manage sustainably (or corner the market depending on what you read).
  15. oldmanrunning


    Apr 22, 2013
    Thanks for setting me right, perhaps it was the Exotic in the description that threw me. I will try and post a picture when it lands.

    As far as I know, bocote is not affected by this.[/QUOTE]
  16. Amir Fleschwund

    Amir Fleschwund Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    [QUOTE="seabil, post: 18359242, member: 415212]
    The reason is China.... [/QUOTE]

    And there it is in one little sentence.

    It is not just tropical hardwoods and rhino horn viagra that they are trashing.

    In the US, we are witnessing the extinction of an entire species of our native hardwood - the ash. All because of a little chinese bug called the emerald ash borer.

    It came over here in wood pallets used to ship their cheap garbage because they are too cheap or corrupt, or both, to follow the quarantine and treatment rules we have in place.

    A good illustration of how ineffective these well-intentioned regulations are when people just don’t give a damn.

    Just because of the extinction of the beautiful ash tree, I am trying to not buy anything made in china. It’s not easy, but maybe more effective than not buying a cocobolo GEC.
    Travman, Ramrodmb and Yonose like this.
  17. Peregrin

    Peregrin Traditional Forum Moderator Moderator Gold Member

    Sep 2, 2004
    The above is from the guidelines. If you need to refresh your memory here's a link; Guidelines For The "Traditional Folders & Fixed Blades" Sub-Forum.
    If it continues, I'm not going to move posts. I'll just close the thread. Thanks.
    Wurrwulf and Norcaldude like this.
  18. Yonose


    Jul 10, 2017
    I did not know that the ash was under threat of extinction. I know the major guitar companies producing guitars in the US a few years ago using ash have switched to other hardwoods. I still really believe that hardwoods should be harvested only when sustainable. We’re still using wild Tiger skins to make leather jackets, in a manner of speaking. Turning any more of our forests into savanna or grasslands(we’ve already lost 92%) is condemnable—whoever does it, there’s no reason for doing so.
  19. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    Ash is one thing and the ash borer has been killing them for a good while. I first ran into the borers in the early 80's. American Hemlock is slowly being killed off. At one time, it was a significant tree used for the lumber industry in the US. American Chestnut is mostly gone for the same reasons.

    The problem like African Elephants is who owns the land or lives near the land often are hand to mouth in terms of surviving. The other obviously is poaching whether it be timber or animals. I have seen walnut trees poached as well as black cherry.
    Amir Fleschwund and Yonose like this.
  20. Yonose


    Jul 10, 2017
    At this stage of our civilization, these resources are precious enough that the people who really live near them should be aware that they are worth more standing than used for firewood. Poaching of hardwoods for sale are not done by either the poor or the locals in nearly every case. Most poaching is done out of greed. The locals are too afraid to stand up to groups of heavily armed bandits, with good reason. Poaching a deer out of season to feed ones family is not wrong, as far as I’m concerned, but destroying a healthy part of the canopy is IMO. Tigers were nearly extinct by the 1970’s in most of the world, but once ranchers in Russia and elsewhere were convinced that Tigers have no adverse impact on livestock, and actually prevent wolves(which do have an impact) from establishing residence they have been able to survive a few decades more. But Wild tigers need forest, something which we are still destroying in favor of grazing land, so I doubt if they will be around for another 40 years.
    dieale2 and Will Power like this.

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