CITES

Not cities. Not even anything remotely close, or next to, or anywhere fucking near something resembling fun. There are new international regulations that came into effect this 2017 calendar year that deal with the import/export of exotic materials, wood in my case, that are getting really close to making my wood flute need its own paper work. It won't effect me traveling with my flute for work, or just for fun, but it will have big issues with international sales of flutes made from blackwood.

The maker of my B flat flute, Casey Burns, posted on the flute forum about the paper work needed to ship new blackwood flutes(blackwood anything, really) out of the USA. It looks like a cluster fuck.

Where I start to get concerned is, how soon will there be regulation that prohibits me, and anyone else with blackwood on their instrument, traveling across country borders? As far as I understand it, you already can't travel with an instrument made of ivory, which is to discourage the illegal ivory trade, even if you don't intend to sell the instrument.

This becomes silly as I would understand not allowing raw ivory to be shipped, as it could then be turned into something, and the raw ivory trade would continue. But once it's already turned into something, isn't it too late? And what if it was turned into something over one hundred years ago? The animal the ivory came from would be dead anyway, by now. It borders on insanity, but hey, I'm not in charge of the rules, and we have to get people to stop killing animals for ivory somehow. It's not even that great of a material, and as far as I know, the flutes they made from it aren't that great either. Like those crystal yokes.

There is one decent thing that came from ivory flutes, and that is this bit of information from Harry Bradley, about Belfast fluter, James McMahon. He played an ivory flute, and also wrote a tune about it.

Anyway, the whole point is, don't make blackwood illegal to travel with. That won't help me, and it won't help the trees. One of the best ways to preserve this great wood and plant is to plant it! Build the industry that can supply it to the industry that wants it. There is great work happening in Tanzania right now by the African Blackwood Conservation Project. We should support that instead of making illicit demand popular. Perhaps also, we should look to less controversial woods, or materials.