Note from Tom: The Importance of the Tongass

May 10, 2016

Saving the Tongass National Forest

The largest National Forest in America is the Tongass in SE Alaska. Several thousand years old, it is the home of magnificent Sitka spruce trees that takes as much as 500 years to achieve their maximum height of around 300 feet. As the only National Forest that allows clearcutting, it is devastating to see this American treasure being decimated for very little economic gain that it will never be able to recover. To become an old-growth Sitka spruce tree, it must fight its way through an old-growth forest. The battle to grow up through the trees creates the slow growth and tight growth rings that give Sitka spruce the astounding strength to weight ratio and resulting magnificent sound that results when used in acoustic stringed instruments.

Bedell Guitars has joined Musicians for Forests to encourage all USA guitar builders to stop using clearcut old-growth Sitka in their instruments. Bedell uses only salvaged Sitka spruce that is found on the forest floor or standing dead. Musicians for Forests also encourages music retailers to request their suppliers not use clearcut old-growth Sitka and for musicians to demand their instruments not be built with clearcut old-growth Sitka.