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Post-Boom Logging in Amazonia

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Abstract

Recent analyses of timber exploitation in Amazonia conclude that a variety of socioeconomic and ecological factors in the region make a stable and profitable logging industry virtually impossible. Most of these studies focus on large-scale timber industries and their dependence on over-exploitation of a small number of high-value timbers. In this article we discuss the economic, ecological, and social aspects of Amazonian logging in a region where the timber industry appeared to have collapsed after stocks of high-value timber were exhausted. We show that forestry in a post-boom phase, currently found in many areas of Amazonia, differs from the better-described “boom” period in its scale of operations, in the range of timbers cut, in management practices employed, and in the costs and benefits of production. Results of a seven-year study show that when sawtimber, poles and firewood are produced in a management system that combines forestry and agriculture they can provide significant additional income for Amazonian smallholders.

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Pinedo-Vasquez, M., Zarin, D.J., Coffey, K. et al. Post-Boom Logging in Amazonia. Human Ecology 29, 219–239 (2001). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1011064031078

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