1970s, there were few trees of appropriate size for tapping. Outside groups or individuals
have not attempted to infringe on the cooperative’s forest or harvest its trees; limited
value has protected the young forest. The Guadalupe forest illustrates another important
factor. After the heavy logging of the 1960s, the forest regenerated naturally without any
outside interference. Most pine forests in the country are naturally regenerated, and
reforestation by planting is not common on a large scale.
The land tenure arrangements for the cooperatives studied fall into two categories:
national and communal forest. The Guadalupe and Villa Santa Cooperatives are located
in national forest and the other three are in communal forest. Land tenure can have
profound effects on the success of any community forestry or conservation endeavor.
Richards (1996) argued that by excluding campesinos from forest management, they
learn that the only benefit to be gained from the forest is by clearing it and using the soil
beneath. On the other hand, formal or informal forest tenure rights enjoyed by the study
cooperatives have been incentives for these groups to manage and protect the forest
instead of destroying it.
AFE/COHDEFOR is the agency charged with the management and protection of
public forest lands in Honduras, but its ability to do so is limited. Among
AFE/COHDEFOR’s limitations are lack of credibility and lack of resources. The most
common perception of the agency among Hondurans is that it is a corrupt, dishonest
agency that follows the law only as far as it suits them. Coupled with this, the resources
AFE/COHDEFOR has to work with are limited for the size of the job appointed to them.