Date of this Version
Horse skidding for extracting logwood is characterized as a niche activity in small-scale forestry, limited to small tracts and low volumes, where environmental impacts and aesthetics are concerned, and to operations with no wood-processing facilities. This article documents and analyzes the widespread persistence, current magnitude, and multiple advantages of horse skidding in large-scale industrial community forest enterprises in Chihuahua, Mexico. We extracted data from the logging permit files of 59 communities in the Sierra Tarahumara and conducted semi-structured interviews with community leaders and foresters in 18 communities, 17 random selections, and one purposefully selected case. There are nine communities that can be considered large-scale. Six of them use animal traction for 20%–100% of their volume. All have sawmills integrated with their operations. This includes the El Largo community with a ten-year volume of 3,169,019 m3 extracted from 123,810 ha entirely with horses. Respondents to the interviews report that horse skidding is more cost-effective than mechanized skidding, generates more employment, and has less impact on forests due to reduced carbon emissions. The widespread use of animal traction in large-scale industrial community forestry in Chihuahua demonstrates that horse skidding is not only a niche activity in small-scale forestry. Our data is preliminary, but we suggest that it highlights a need for further assessments of whether animal traction should be part of future efforts towards reduced impact, lower carbon emissions, and socially and economically just forest management.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Back to the Future: The Persistence of Horse Skidding in Large Scale Industrial Community Forests in Chihuahua, Mexico David Barton Bray, Elvira Duran, Javier Hernández-Salas, Concepción Luján-Alvarez, Miguel Olivas-García, Iván Grijalva-Martínez Forests. 2016;7(11):283 DOI 10.3390/f7110283
In Copyright. URI: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).