Habitat Destruction in Mexico

Chris J. Durden drdn at mail.utexas.edu
Thu May 18 06:49:17 EDT 2000

At 11:02  18/05/00 +0000, you wrote:
>Chris J. Durden wrote:
>> Today we are faced with a million cases of arson, perpetrated on the
>> best-soil-areas in the region by newcomers to the area. This is surely
>> nothing like the natural phenomenon of lightning-started fires that it has
>> replaced.
>So Chris, what are you saying is the cause of these fires in the extremely
>remote summit areas (as we saw on Chuch Vaughn's satellite photo)
>of the Sierra Madre Occidentale mountains of northwestern Mexico?  
>Paul Cherubini
>- - - - -

  Yes that is what I am saying. These fires are not all in summit areas.
They are not in remote areas. There may be no paved road anywhere near, but
there are trails that are regularly walked or driven by old pickups and old
army surplus trucks carrying families or work crews. Then there are combis.
A lot of people live in these mountains. Some years there are several times
this number of fires in the area. 
  Other parts of Mexico have a much higher incidence of fires during the
burning seasons. Look right now at coastal Michoacan, Southern Tamaulipas,
Northern Veracruz on the maps at -


  At other times of the year heavy fire activity is in Quintana Roo,
Chiapas, Oaxaca, Chihuahua and northern Tamaulipas. Add this all up and
then go check it on the ground. The results are very real. A lot of big
tree forest that was there 30 to 40 years ago is no longer there. A lot of
land then vacant brushland is now populated goat-stripped desert. A lot of
land then lush green village gardens is now dry dusty, plastic strewn
makeshift shantytown. Open your eyes. Drive or ride the bus. All you see
from the plane is green or brown brush and occasional fires.

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