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Monday, September 29

Illegal logging is big-bucks business

A Swirl of Foreboding in Mahogany's Grain: "Environmentalists' greatest fear is that the presence of loggers here, deep in the jungle on the edge of an Indian reserve, could presage the arrival of settlers, who would bring the kind of slash-and-burn agriculture that already consumes a swath of the Amazon the size of Maryland each year. The mahogany trade remains legal within stringent international rules. With a recent crackdown on illegal logging in Brazil, for years the world's mahogany king, Peru is in the midst of a decade-long boom, and is now the largest producer. Last year, government figures show, Peru exported 45,000 cubic meters of the wood to American ports 20 times the total in 1992. The equivalent of 50,000 trees has wound up in the United States, according to one estimate by the World Wildlife Fund." NY Times (Registration required, but free) Encroachment on the remotest contributories of the Amazon is stripping away mahogany trees and the control system is corrupted, according to this article.

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