taylor guitars donates $400,000 toward ebony conservation and restoration in cameroon

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Congo Basin Institute and Tom Smith in National Geographic: Cameroon’s embattled ebony trees get a lifeline—from guitar maker

Bob Taylor met Tom Smith, director of UCLA’s Congo Basin Institute, who had worked in Cameroon for decades and knew as much about its forest ecology as Taylor knew about guitars. They found themselves circling a shared quandary: The urgent need to regrow tropical hardwoods in the Congo Basin was hampered because scientists knew more about how to cut the trees down than how to grow them back.

Smith and Taylor decided that, especially with the sex appeal conferred by its use in guitars, ebony could work well as a case study in developing new methods to restore the forest’s hardwoods.