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THE IDAHO PANHANDLE NATIONAL FORESTS
Since 1996 the Idaho Panhandle National Forests and the University of Idaho have been actively pursuing an interchange of natural resource students from Mexico to work as summer volunteers in programs on the National Forests and Research Stations of Idaho and Utah, the University of Idaho, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. To date 35 students have participated in this program. The University of Idaho has developed cooperative agreements with five universities in Mexico: Universidad Veracruzana, Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon, Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara, ITESM (Monterrey Tech. University, and the Universidad de Guadalajara. The agreements not only facilitate the volunteer internship programs; but also provide for student exchanges, faculty exchanges, program exchanges, and collaborative research.
This interchange of cultures generated another opportunity to develop a “Sister Forest” relationship between the Idaho Panhandle National Forest and Bosque de la Primavera in the State of Jalisco, Mexico. Under the auspices of the Forest Service International Forestry program, and the leadership of Deputy Forest Supervisor Pat Aquilar, efforts were undertaken to begin the establishment of the Sister Forest Program between the IPNF and La Primavera. In August of 1999, Salvador Mayorga, Executive Director of Bosque de la Primavera, visited the Idaho Panhandle National Forest to familiarize himself with this ecosystem and the resources used to manage it. During this visit Executive Director Mayorga and Deputy Forest Supervisor Pat Aguilar drafted a proposed Sister Forest Agreement.
On October 18, 1999, in conjunction with Governor Dirk Kempthorne’s Idaho/Jalisco Sister State Trade Mission to Guadalajara, Mexico, La Primavera Executive Director Salvador Mayorga and Idaho Panhandle National Forest Supervisor Dave Wright formally signed the “Sister Forest” agreement. Jalisco Governor Alberto Cardenas and Idaho Governor Dirk Kempthorne were present at the signing. The signing ceremony was the concluding event of the Idaho/Jalisco Forestry Roundtable held at the Club de Industriales, in Guadalajara.
SISTER FOREST MEMORANDUM
The Memorandum of Understanding is authorized under the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Forestry and Natural Resources Between the Department of Agriculture of the United States of America (USDA) and The Secretariat of Environment, Natural Resources and Fisheries of the United Mexican States (SEMARNAP) signed by Dan Glickman, Secretary of Agriculture, USDA and Julia Carabias Lillo, Secretary of SEMA RNAP on May 5, 1997.
Objectives in place to carry out the Purpose are:
On October 20, 1999, an Idaho delegation represented by Charles Hatch, PhD., Dean of the School of Forestry at the University of Idaho, Luisa Havens, Assistant Director Multicultural Recruitment Coordinator of the University of Idaho, IPNF Deputy Supervisor Pat Aguilar, and IPNF Forest Supervisor Dave Wright and his wife, Nancy, were hosted by the Universidad de Guadalajara for a tour of their CUCBA (University Center for Biological and Agricultural Sciences) campus and for meetings with students and faculty of the School of Forestry. Luisa Havens and Dean Hatch reaffirmed the established agreement to continue the interchange of students and summer internships between the University of Idaho and various Universities in the State of Jalisco.
On October 21, 1999, the same delegation was hosted by the staff of La Primavera at a meeting of the La Primavera Advisory Council and a tour of the Bosque de la Primavera. Initial interchanges of fire staffs and GIS expertise between forests, and social/recreation assessment by the University of Idaho staff were agreed to as the first steps in implementation of the agreement.
BOSQUE DE LA PRIMAVERA
The Bosque de la Primavera is a 100,000-acre forest ecosystem within a thirty-minute drive of downtown Guadalajara, Mexico. Guadalajara is a city of nearly 5 million people.
On February 19, 1980, then President of Mexico, Jose Lopez Portillo, signed a declaration proclaiming the establishment of A Zone of Forest Protection and Refuge for Wild Fauna named the Bosque la Primavera, “The Spring Forest”. The declaration is unique in that 90% of the land within the forest boundary is privately owned, yet has been declared a federal zone of protection.
The proximity of Bosque La Primavera to 8 municipalities and 114 small villages (pueblos) makes it a very important urban forest ecosystem. La Primavera is an important buffer to the sprawl of the metropolitan areas and helps maintain the delicate ecosystem balance of the surrounding valleys. Its geology is volcanic with many thermal hot springs throughout the forest that are a major recreation opportunity for forest users. Surface soils are very shallow, and black obsidian is very evident on the surface. Erosion is a major problem and has been compounded over time by intensive subsistence agricultural practices, primarily grazing and fire. Ninety-seven percent of the fire starts are human caused. Six species of pine and fourteen species of oaks are the predominant tree species. The illegal removal of geologic material and the encroachment of urban development are also problems facing La Primavera.
The management objectives for La Primavera include:
We have taken our first steps to better understand our respective ecosystems and cultures as we begin our journey down the trail of cooperation and relationship building between our two forests and our countries. Let this be an exciting and educational adventure. BIENVENIDOS and WELCOME to a present, and future, filled with friendship, learning, and natural resource achievements.
VISIT OUR SISTER FOREST ON THE WEB
Bosque La Primavera
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Last updated: 12/03/04
Idaho Panhandle National Forests / USDA Forest Service