Monarch saviors

Jim Mason Jim at
Fri Mar 5 11:29:14 EST 2004

Fwd: Monarch saviorsWhile it is important to protect the integrity of the monarch reserves, it is also important to retain the good will of the nearby residents.  It is easy for outsiders to consider the woodcutters as rapacious criminals - and indeed there are organized gangs using lookouts with cell phones to evade capture as they raid the reserves - but we need to be aware of, and respect, the basic needs of the local population.  I hope these police efforts are targeting the organized gangs and not just busting a few locals for show.

People down there need firewood for heat and cooking, lumber for construction of dwellings and fences and they also need to earn a living.  One option to meet all those needs could be the harvest and/or sale of timber products from land OUTSIDE the reserves - if that option was available.  I believe the Michoacan Reforestation Fund and La Cruz Habitat Protection Project have the best available model for meeting that goal and thus protecting the monarch reserves in the long term.  They have a well-developed plan to plant agriculturally marginal acreage back to trees on a 15-year rotation that yields cooking fuel and fence posts in the first few years and a significant cash crop of lumber at the end.  The participating landowners can also interplant their food crops in the first couple years to ease the transitional loss of arable acreage.  The monarchs win, the local people win and the environment wins.

To learn more about the MRF and how you can help, see their web site at:

Jim Mason, Naturalist
Jim at
Great Plains Nature Center
6232 E. 29th Street North
Wichita, KS 67220-2200
316-683-5499 x103 - voice
316-688-9555 - fax

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Richard Worth 
  To: leps-l at 
  Sent: Thursday, March 04, 2004 3:44 PM
  Subject: Fwd: Monarch saviors

  FYI.  Some good news

    Have you seen this, which is from the latest issue of Sierra magazine?:

    Butterfly Bodyguards

    Each year millions of monarch butterflies migrate more than 3,000 miles from Canada and the eastern United States to wintering grounds in the oyamel fir trees of Mexico. But illegal logging has put the monarch's survival at risk. To its rescue has come a Mexican butterfly patrol, including 500 police as well as environmental inspectors and helicopters. So far, the effort has netted 28 illegal loggers and nearly 5,000 cubic yards of ill-gotten wood. Prosecutors with Mexico's environmental department have promised to enforce penalties, which include three- to five-year prison terms. -Marilyn Berlin Snell

    We can but hope it is true and will continue.

  Richard A. Worth
  Oregon Department of Agriculture
  Plant Division
  rworth at
  (503) 986-6461
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...

More information about the Leps-l mailing list