I've gotten increasingly fond of ash as a tone wood over the years, particularly swamp ash. I knew that there were major issues that ash trees were facing because of the Emerald Ash Borer, but in the forests I was a regular in, they hadn't really gotten in. At least at that time. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) just put ash trees on their red list as critically endangered: one step away from extinction. Only 1 of 6 species of ash didn't get added to that list. Additionally, "The once-plentiful White Ash (Fraxinus americana) is one of the most valuable timber trees of North America used for making furniture, baseball bats and hockey sticks." Ostensibly these have gone to the guitar industry as well. All three species that can, when grown in swamps, be called "swamp ash"; Fraxinus caroliniana, Fraxinus nigra, and Fraxinus pennsylvanica, are now on the critically endangered list. The reason for this is exceptionally clear: There are species on the IUCN red list that CITES does not regulate, but it seems very likely that ash will end up on the CITES banned list very quickly. As it reasonably should. In the scheme of things, the guitar industry is hardly the biggest piece of this puzzle. But the industry acted shocked and surprised about rosewood restrictions, despite the fact that the writing was on the wall for years. Further mahogany and ebony regulations are probably creeping closer as well. There's no question that when the news of this hit, that guitar companies were kind of slapped in the face since we still see so many line ups of 2017 and even some 2018 models with rosewood fretboards. I think that caused a lot of indignant reactions to CITES, but shouldn't this be a reason for companies to be more directly involved in resource acquisition and distribution? At this point, it seems like WMI might call the shots for more of the logistics and production end than half the low-mid range instruments that hit the shelves. I'm not sure what I'd hope to get out of posting this other than to draw attention towards something that is clearly a huge and pressing matter. One that will logically worsen over the coming years. I have personally tried getting multiple companies to get on the phone or respond to emails with me regarding wood sourcing. They don't want anything to do with it for the most part. I think they should. Even from a company perspective, it makes more sense for them to bring that aspect of production in house just so they aren't blind sided by this as it comes about. Realistically, they're not going to do it until it's demanded of them or, as we saw with ESP, until after the regulations were enforced. At the very least, I think it's something us guitar nerds should be aware of.