So here's an awkward subject for us to discuss...
I love looking at all the beautiful knives and handles people on this forum make, and I enjoy reading about all these exotic woods that we use to make handles, but I've noticed that some of the woods I see used for handles (and some that I am currently using myself in my projects) are fairly rare, and in some cases actually threatened or endangered to some degree. Even the ones that aren't legally protected are often from tropical or semi-tropical forests, which means that we are directly supporting rain-forest logging.
The rosewoods and ebonies in particular are all from tropical or semi-tropical forests, and some have very small natural ranges. desert ironwood is becoming increasingly rare in some areas, and it is one of the most ecologically important plants in the sonoran desert. Koa is protected in Hawaii, and only dead trees may be used for wood. I could go on down the list, but you get the idea. Most of these naturally hard, dense woods are extremely slow growing, and cannot be grown on plantations, which means that we're using old-growth trees that will not re-grow any time soon.
So I'm wondering, Are there species of wood that any of you refuse to buy? Do any of you try to buy from sustainable sources (salvaged, reclaimed, plantation grown, dead wood etc...), and if so, how to do you know these sources are actually sustainable?. Do you check to see if a wood is endangered before buying it?