The evolution of Mexican forest policy and its influence upon forest resources Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/8049g9006

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  • During the Colonial Period, in Mexico there was no rational forest development policy and, as a result, forest resources were squandered and to a considerable extent destroyed. During the Nineteenth Century, a rational forest policy began to be promoted, but in the end, it was translated into a policy of preservation and protection rather than optimum use and dynamic conservation. The Post-Revolution Period was characterized by a carry-over of the preservationist policy and the actual prohibition of forest resource development on several million hectares of forest land. Unfortunately, the prohibitions inhibited all forest activity and commonly promoted unregulated and illegal uses and harvests, thereby allowing the forest to deteriorate. In some areas, moreover, the campesino came to view the forest as a hinderance to his well-being and destroyed it for agricultural purposes. By the 1940's it was realized by interested legislators and foresters that a policy of rational development with a strong law was necessary if Mexico was to retain her forests. Thus, in 1943, Mexico's second forest law of the Twentieth Century was promulgated. This law provided the organizational means to promote forest development and conservation. The organization provided was the Industrial Forest Exploitation Unit authorized to combine small forest ownerships under long term concessions. With the establishment of these Units came the requirement for professional foresters to plan and manage commercial forest exploitation, mandatory reforestation and other measures for conservation of the forest and forest soils. The body of forest laws and regulations currently in force in Mexico was enacted in 1960 and in reality is little more than a refining of previous documents, especially that of 1943. In summary, the analysis makes clear that there has evolved in Mexico an exemplary body of policy, laws, and regulations, sufficient to optimize forest utilization and to assure dynamic conservation of the resource. More regulations are not needed, but there is critical need for greater funding at the Federal level to implement existing regulations and expand education of the public toward the end that the citizenry appreciates and respects forest values.
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