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Social and Environmental Impacts of the Rise and Fall of Flue-Cured Tobacco Production in the Copán Valley

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Abstract

The Copán Valley, located in western Honduras adjacent to the Guatemalan border, is famous as the site of the ancient Maya city of Copán, which attracts thousands of tourists to the Valley every year. Visitors to the archeological site find a beautiful Valley with an appealing agricultural landscape of crops, pastures, and tobacco barns scattered along the bottomlands of the Copán River, which lies at about 600 m above sea level (masl) and flows westward into Guatemala. The surrounding hills and mountains, extending up to about 1,500 masl, are a patchwork of land cleared for crops and pastures, secondary forest, coffee groves, and pine-oak forests.

The original article The rise and fall of flue-cured tobacco in the Copán Valley and its environmental and social consequences appeared in Human Ecology Vol. 33, No. 3, June 2005.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    There are a number of methodological issues associated with the interpretation of land cover in tropical areas under active cultivation like the Copán Valley that are not explored here, due to lack of space. For detailed discussion of these issues seen in another area of Honduras see Loker 2004.

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Correspondence to William M. Loker .

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Loker, W.M. (2010). Social and Environmental Impacts of the Rise and Fall of Flue-Cured Tobacco Production in the Copán Valley. In: Bates, D., Tucker, J. (eds) Human Ecology. Springer, Boston, MA. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-5701-6_16

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