Lacey Act of 1900

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The Lacey Act of 1900, or simply the Lacey Act (16 U.S.C. §§ 33713378) is a conservation law in the United States. The Lacey Act protects both plants and wildlife by creating civil and criminal penalties for a wide array of violations, and most notably prohibits trade in wildlife, fish, and plants that have been illegally taken, transported or sold. It was introduced into Congress by Representative John F. Lacey of Iowa. President William McKinley signed the bill into law on May 25, 1900.

The law is still in effect, although it has been amended several times.[1] The Lacey Act was most recently amended as of May 22, 2008, when the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 expanded its protection to a broader range of plants and plant products (Section 8204. Prevention of Illegal Logging Practices).[2]

Gibson Guitar

In August 2012, Gibson Guitar Corp. agreed to pay $300,000 in fines to settle a federal criminal investigation into its importing wood from Madagascar and India. In 2011, agents from the US Fish and Wildlife Service raided Gibson's factories seizing raw materials and about 100 guitars. Gibson had been importing unfinished ebony fingerboards from a supplier in 2008 and 2009. That supplier may have violated Madagascar laws that protect ebony from overharvesting. The Lacey Act makes importing plant and animal products that violate foreign laws illegal. Gibson also agreed to pay $50,000 to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to be used to promote conservation in the musical instrument industry. Gibson also agreed to forfeit $261,844 in Madagascar ebony seized during the raids.[3]


  1. "Nation marks Lacey Act centennial, 100 years of federal wildlife law enforcement. US Fish and Wildlife Service. Retrieved on August 7, 2012.
  2. Khatchadourian, Rafi. (October 6, 2008.) "The Stolen Forests: Inside the covert war on illegal logging". The New Yorker. Retrieved on August 7, 2012.
  3. Maher, Kris. "Gibson Guitar to Pay Fine Of $300,000 Over Imports", Wall Street Journal, August 7, 2012, p. B1.