Mexican Authorities Return Illegal Logs to Forest Communities


Photo Credit: Journey North

Thanks to the movie Homegrown, we know that the police often burn marijuana once they confiscate it. But what do authorities do with the illegally logged timber they seize? According to the Mexican daily Reforma, officials with Mexico's Environmental Attorney General's office, known as Profepa, in Mexico State have begun returning the timber to the forest communities from which they have been logged. What's more the communities are now selling the logs and reinvesting the profits in reforestation efforts. Not a bad scheme!

The authorities are also donating the confiscated logging equipment to the community forest management projects. "There are various agreements of this kind, not only covering the donation of wood and charcoal but also the tools used by the illegal loggers that are recouped by the communities," José Luis Santos, a Profepa delegate, told Reforma. Most recently, Profepa seized 7,400 cubic meters of logs, which was promptly turned over to the forest managers in the San Juan Atzingo community.As we've noted in the past, the monarch butterfly winters in Mexico's oyamel forests in Mexico and Michoacan states and is severely threatened by illegal logging in the region. While it remains a stubborn problem, in part due to corruption at various levels of government, protecting the oyamel forest has become a greater priority in recent years as environmental groups have studied and proven the extent and fragility of the damage to the butterfly's habitat. :: Reforma via Planeta Azul (Spanish link)

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