Posted by Dorrie Woodward on January 1, 2007, 7:31 pm
Message modified by board administrator January 2, 2007, 4:01 am
Dear friends, neighbours and co-gringos; thank you for your appreciation of Natalia's and all our efforts with the Multicultural's Festival/fundraiser...for sure we'll do it again. If only to see those Sat. night performances again!! And bring together what I call the two solitudes. (canadians will recognize this as referring to Quebecois and Anglos, still it works here.)|
At this moment my concerns lie elsewhere. As many of you know, I have begun a small ecological reserve (5 hectares) up the arroyo, working with the U. of Guadalajara to do plant and animal inventories and so on. Lately trees have been cut off this land, and others' land nearby. These will have been used for house construction, or perhaps milled for furniture.
As well, 4 of the pools used for swimming, and home to many freshwater fish and shrimp, have been poisoned with chemicals. These chemicals also kill the eggs laid for next year.
I knew that it was going to be a long process, building community support for this project, that it involves education, and respect.
I have begun the education, and this letter is one other step. I'd like this to be a dialogue, and want to hear your comments.
The forest surrounding us here is called "Dry Forest" (selva seco). The plants here go through 2 extremes of wet and dry, and have developed in unique ways and combinations to live with this. There never was any glaciation here,or Ice Ages, so evolution of diversity continued uninterrupted.
THIS FOREST IS THE MOST BIODIVERSE DRY FOREST IN THE WHOLE WORLD!! AND ABOUT 75% IS GONE.
So, folks, we are smack in the middle of endangered habitat for many rare plants and animals... While many of us can fly home, these neighbours are stuck with the longterm consequences of our building in their territory.
We can live here carefully and even sustainably. We know what's at stake, we can assess how to ameliorate the impact of our demands on this ecosystem. Alot here is intact, and even thriving. But over the next hill...NOT. There are so many possibilities, yet here in Mexico, for all the laws, no one will force us, we have to work out this on our own. No use saying "This is Mexico" and blaming the locals for being irresponsible.
SEE: www.nationalgeographic.com/wildworld/profiles/terrestrial/nt/nt0217.html ...check out the "scientific report at the bottom of the page for more.
Also see REGIONES HIDROLÓGICAS PRIORITARIAS, click on maps, we are in Area #25. All the info will come up; it bears careful reading, it's in Spanish.
Many of you may be responsible for one or more houses being built here in La Manzanilla: please be certain about where your wood is harvested, and avoid providing a market for pirated trees, however beautiful. This type of cutting accumulates in harmful ways...often other trees are cut, and trails become roads where there is a demand.
I am concerned about how many of the "sculpural trees", the ficus around the mojote, that have become standard features in our homes here. These trees are often very old (@100yrs) and rarer and rarer in this changing climate and circumstance. In other words, they may not be replaceable, for all the forest is described as a renewable resource. What was fine for the few may not fine when we are so many.
Just building a fence around my measly 5 hectares is an incomplete answer, and often just hampers the movement of wildlife. We know from our experience up north the power of consumers, that we create the market that influences which wood is used, where it was cut, what alternatives develop.
Some Ejidos have wood lot sales that are accredited internationally as "sustainable" ...IKEA buys exotic wood from such outfits. I think there are ways to respond to markets that don't destroy the forest, and strengthen the community economically.
I don't believe any of us would eat a turtle's egg, or buy a baby parrot... both threatened species here. We get it. All honor to the passenger pigeon and buffalo who paid for the message. Please, let's be very mindful, in this little valley bounded by lagoon and arroyo, amazing reefs and beach, not to collude in it's destruction, or lose hope and abdicate our personal responsibily to support Life around us in every way we can.
I'd be happy to take any of you up the arroyo, to the reserve... you may be familiar with the area already; "Las Joyas"? It's getting pretty dry, but the cascades and pools are still wet and lovely.
thanks for hearing me out,
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