Around 100 people turned out to help with a reforestation project on Sunday in the Primavera Forest near Zapopan, Jalisco, including the federal government’s state super-delegate, Carlos Lomelí Bolaños.
In an interview with the newspaper El Occidental, Lomelí said that permanent, year-long reforestation efforts are necessary for the forest because previous efforts, which focused on reforesting during the rainy season, have not been sufficient.
“We can’t skimp on federal, state or municipal resources for the recuperation of the forest,” he said. “We need to make a permanent habit of planting trees in our forest, the lungs of Jalisco.”
On the first day, volunteers planted over 200 pine and oak trees that were donated by the army, the National Forest Commission and the Primavera ejido.
The Primavera Forest, also known as the “Lung of Guadalajara,” covers 30,000 hectares near the Jalisco capital. It boasts several tourist attractions, including an award-winning microbrewery and an abstract art gallery.
But for years, the forest has been plagued by recurrent wildfires, including a series of blazes earlier this year which destroyed hundreds of hectares of woods.
According to Lomelí, the fires have caused temperatures to rise in the Guadalajara metropolitan area over the past few decades.
Gerardo Alberto González Cuevas, a forestry researcher at the University of Guadalajara, told the newspaper Milenio that reforestation needs to be supported by other conservation efforts, and that it could cause more harm than good if it is rushed.
“First of all, it’s very important that we act consciously, instead of rushing to reforest,” he said. “Before we do that, we need to make advances on ground and water conservation efforts, which have already started.”
González said that people who are interested in helping out with reforestation should coordinate with authorities instead of pursuing individual, uncoordinated reforestation.