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Gibson had been the subject of a similar raid in 2009 over ebony imported from Madagascar through a German firm called Theodor Nagel GmbH, and has been fighting that seizure in federal court. Federal authorities say in court filings that the wood was exported illegally from Madagascar. Gibson and Nagel dispute that.

The company’s fierce condemnation of the raids led to a conference call Tuesday by others in the industry who defended the Lacey Act.

“If you’ve been under investigation for bringing in illegal ebony from Madagascar from a German importer called Nagel who was clearly doing illegal wood, why would you keep buying from that same importer?” said Jameson French, CEO of Kingston, N.H.-based Northland Forest Products.

French, who also serves on the board of The Hardwood Federation, said 2008 changes to the Lacey Act to include wood products have protected the American lumber industry from unfair competition. He said allegations that the import restrictions hurt American jobs are false.

“Perhaps they didn’t do the research before they jumped on the bandwagon,” he said. “Because I can assure you that the large number of 13,000 small family companies that are represented by the Hardwood Federation have had positive benefits from the Lacey Act amendment.”

Charlie Redden, supply chain manager for El Cajon, Calif.-based Taylor Guitars, said his business hasn’t seen much disturbance.

“We travel to these places and meet with the woodcutters and we ask some of those tough questions about where they’re getting their wood from, and physically see where the wood comes from,” Redden said.

Mark Barford, executive director of the Memphis-based National Hardwood Lumber Association, said the limits on illegal wood sales in the United States and in other countries help maintain both the domestic and export markets.

“There are many hundreds and hundreds of small operators, even in the state of Tennessee, that count on fair trade and honest trade in order to stay competitive on the world market,” Barford said.

Andrea Johnson, Forest Campaign Director for the Environmental Investigation Agency, a research and advocacy group, said although the industry uses the rarest and most endangered species _ including wood, ivory and mother of pearl _ fears about instruments being seized are misguided.

“Let’s be very clear here: No one is coming to take your Les Paul guitar,” Johnson said.