The future of an endemic tree and the ecosystem where it’s found depends, to a large extent, on stopping illegal logging and the expansion of avocado crops in southern Jalisco. The Colima fir tree (Abies colimensis) is listed as an endangered species by Mexican authorities that can reach 60 meters (196 feet) in height and 2 meters (6.5 feet) in diameter. Its survival has been threatened by logging and, more recently, by fires to clear the land and the avocado orchards that follow. But community-driven efforts are finding ways to leave the forest standing while still generating livelihoods and developing the local economy. For 20 years, the Colima fir tree ( Abies colimensis ) has been at the heart of many disputes to conserve the temperate forests of southern Jalisco, a state in central Mexico. Today, the future of this tree rests upon whether the area’s avocado crops will advance further and whether neighboring communities will unite to protect it. The Colima fir tree’s distribution has been reduced to the area surrounding the Nevado de Colima volcano. In November 2019, Mexican authorities included the tree on a list of endangered species. The Nevado de Colima volcano stands 4,260 meters […]

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