What is Forest Stewardship?
In the context of forest management, stewardship refers to caring for the land and resources, and ensuring that management considers the needs of future generations. Forest Stewardship is the responsible use of forest resources based upon the application of an ecological understanding at the stand, forest and landscape levels, and is based upon an ethical responsibility to the land and people.
TROPIC VENTURE’S Forest Stewardship goals:
To Maintain as a natural rainforest reserve, approximately 675 acres, (273 hectares, 695 cuerdas) of secondary growth forestland at Tropic Ventures “Las Casas de la Selva” project site.
To Implement sustainable management strategies for the use and conservation of the private forest resources, including timber, on the remaining 250 acres of the property.
To Protect, conserve and enhance wildlife, water quality and quantity, improve air quality, and conserve energy.
To Implement conservation and management actions that help mitigate or eliminate possible risk of wildfires and their impacts both inside and outside the forest boundaries, and maintain the health of the forest ecosystem.
To Continue to promote education and scientific research projects on ecosystems and timber forest resources to promote rainforest conservation and sustainable forestry practices. This includes hosting local, Puerto Rican, international students and volunteer organizations, to give an opportunity for real-time, hands-on participation in sustainable forestry management.
To Integrate and connect people on the conservation and management activities to work together on environmental issues and possible effects of climate change.
To Identify economic alternatives and viability of rainforest communities, and sustainable use of rainforest resources.
To Develop, implement and evaluate methods to reduce degradation of the forest’s water resources which help protect the downstream water reservoirs of the Patillas region. These include erosion control, ecological methods of sewage treatment and appropriate land use to minimize pollution of the forest’s waterways.
To Create and maintain trails that allow leisurely walks and recreational time. Getting people into the forest to make them fall in love with the forest.
To Share the results of the work at Las Casas de la Selva with the local Puerto Rican and international community through conferences, public presentations, on-site ecological tours, through local and international media, and through publication of research results in scientific journals.
Forested mountains of Las Casas de la Selva
Mountain forest rivers of Las Casas de la Selva
Las Casas de la Selva watersheds provide water for Lake Patillas
Water flows from the mountains of Las Casas de la Selva to the mangroves and marine ecosystems
“The Rainforest defends herself…by a beauty that makes us stop…take oath to protect her.”
Poem extract from ‘In the Rainforest’ (WILD, Poems Aphorisms & Short Stories, by Johnny Dolphin, published 1992 by Synergetic Press)