Document Type



Master of Science (MS)


Environmental Studies

First Advisor's Name

David Bray

First Advisor's Committee Title

Major Advisor

Second Advisor's Name

Cara Rockwell

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Third Advisor's Name

Michael Ross

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Hong Liu

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member


Community Forestry, Logging, Forest Conservation, Community Conservation, Land-Use Zoning

Date of Defense



Community forestry is an evolving approach to forest management, shown to maintain forest cover, while generating income for local communities. In Sierra Norte (SN), a region with no public protected areas, indigenous communities have been actively conserving their forests for decades, through conservation zoning and careful management of their logging areas. This study found that across 22 communities in SN, an estimated 2,949,116.50 m3 of timber were produced from 1993 to 2013, while the region maintains 78% forest cover. About 75% of the forest is under some form of community conservation. Community governance plays a major role, as rules and regulations regarding use, access, and conservation of communal lands are established and enforced by community members. The findings of this study support arguments that advocate for community forest management, as forest communities prove to maintain forest cover and decrease degradation, thus reducing greenhouse gas emissions and enhancing forest carbon stocks.





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