Guitar Makers Call for Stronger Forest Protections

It’s music to our ears. A team of documentary filmmakers–on behalf of the acoustic guitar industry–is advocating for stronger protections of ancient, or old-growth, trees in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest.

Nearly every acoustic guitar, the filmmakers said, started as a seedling in this coastal temperate rainforest–the largest of its kind in the world. Luthiers fashion guitars out of old Sitka spruce trees. But logging of the species–mainly to meet construction demand overseas–has reached a fever pitch and threatens to wipe out guitar-quality Sitka spruce in less than a decade, they said.

Related: Court protects 2.3 million acres of old-growth forests.

“Trees that can reach up to 1,000 years old and twice the height of the Statue of Liberty should be protected and not made into door frames,” they said in an email statement. “The process of making acoustic guitars has remained unchanged for hundreds of years, but a critical shortage of ‘musicwood’ from over-logged forests threatens to silence the industry.”

Get Involved: Learn how you can support the “Musicwood” documentary.

We’re big music fans here at Defenders, but it’s wildlife and wild places that we care most about. Imperiled wildlife, like the lynx, depend on old-growth forests for survival.

These ancient forests and habitats need our help. And we are encouraged to see folks from the acoustic guitar industry join the chorus of voices calling for stronger protections for old-growth forest.

Learn more about what Defenders is doing to protect wildlife in national forests.