Lacey Act

Yoonju Moon

About the Lacey Act

The Lacey Act was passed to combat the trafficking of illegal wildlife, fish and plants to protect wildlife. The Lacey Act that was passed in 1900 was interestingly the first federal law protecting wildlife. It was amended in 2008 to expand its scope of wildlife protection and to criminalize the act of importing illegally logged lumber. Though the Lacey Act is domestic in nature, it includes policies that can affect the international market (i.e. criminalizing the act of importing illegally logged lumber and other importing policies) (Lacey, n.d.).


The 2008 amendments to the Lacey Act served to legally bind American lumber importation to be more environmentally friendly (as legally logged lumber must follow certain requirements that are in place to protect the environment). This transformed the timber industry throughout the world due to the fact that America is the world's largest consumer of timber products.

Moreover, the 2008 amendments to the Lacey Act served as an example for various other nations in the world to pass similar legislation including the European Union and Australia (US, n.d.).

However, due to the fact that the Lacey Act is a fairly new act (especially the amendments of 2008), the Lacey Act must be enforced to be properly effective. The EIA is currently working towards full implementation of the Lacey Act to improve the effectiveness of the act. To further improve the effectiveness of this act, awareness should be raised regarding the Lacey Act among various logging and wildlife businesses. Awareness may be raised using public service announcement videos/commercials, fliers, and the internet (US, n.d.).


Lacey Act. (n.d.). Laws, Treaties, and Agreements. Retrieved from

Manske, M. (2011 July 7). US Military Logging Truck. [Photograph]. Retrieved from

US Lacey Act. (n.d.). Environmental Investigation Agency. Retrieved from

US National Archives. (2011 Oct 30). Biles Coleman Lumber Co. [Photograph]. Retrieved from