For more than 100 years, this law has served as America’s premier weapon in the fight against the illegal trade of plants and animals. Congress later expanded the law and in 2008 lawmakers amended it to cover, for the first time, plant products.

Whether it’s wood, paper, or pulp, any product containing illegally obtained tree material is now banned from import and interstate trade.

The quantity of US hardwood lumber and plywood imported from Bolivia, Brazil, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Peru – countries known for problems with illegal timber – has declined.

"Prices increased about 30% or 40% [on imports] from some of these suspected source countries, and quantities dropped by double that amount," states research forester Jeffrey Prestemon. He questions the global impact, as some exporters may have just rerouted shipments to less-regulated countries.