miércoles, junio 8

Sierra de Juarez is a Valuable Ecosystem - by Horacio de la Cueva

Sierra de Juárez is a portion of the Transpeninsular range, a chain of mountains that originates Northeast of Los Angeles, California and bisects the Baja California peninsula. This series of sierras is the peninsula's main watershed, its main source of fresh water, refuge and origin of species and subspecies that make it an evolution center, and a hotspot for conservation; a wonder of species adaptations giving rise to high biodiversity.

Thanks to Terra’s board member Horacio de la Cueva for
his conservation efforts in Sierra de Juarez

The economic and ecologic importance of these sierras has been underestimated, but as local development pressures and global climate change increase, the role of these sierras will be appreciated.
  • Sierra de Juárez neither encompasses the highest mountains of Baja California nor is it as majestic as La Rumorosa. Nevertheless it is an essential component of the Baja California ecosystems. The geological connections amongst the sierras are explicit in their ecological role. Sierra de Juárez is part of this biological continuum that has been, is, and will continue to be a corridor for the Desert Big Horn Sheep and the California Condor. It is also an essential component for the migration of thousands of birds and bats that use it as part of a continent wide migratory corridor.
  • Sierra de Juárez is near the three most important cities of Baja California: Mexicali, Tijuana, and Ensenada. Getting to Sierra de Juarez is a fairly easy task, although the access roads are not paved, they can be used most of the time by most vehicles. The Sierra's forest, Laguna Hanson, and the many cabins and camping sites, make it an attractive site for weekend tourists that include not only nature lovers or families running away from their city for a few days; visitors also include those who like to traverse the sierra in their off-road vehicle or their cross-country motorcycle.
  • Sierra de Juárez has been inhabited for several thousand years. Its first inhabitants have been provided by the Sierra of a life style that, given current development trends and governmental policies, is slowly disappearing. Nonetheless, the love of the land and the use of its resources has allowed the people of the Sierra to live there. Currently, many of the ways of making a living from the Sierra have been lost, and its inhabitants have left to find a way of life elsewhere.
If Sierra de Juárez is to maintain its ecological services and its beauty, mostly water, climate and enjoyable landscapes, it is essential to maintain its integrity. This will be obtained by designing a management plan that considers the diversity of it users and inhabitants, as well as its biology, the effects of global climate change and the current and future fragmentation threats. Energía Sierra Juárez under its Manifestación de Impacto Ambiental (Environmental Impact Assessment), approved by SEMARNAT, plans to lay down at least 200 kilometers of roads in the areas where it will place its wind power generators.

The conservation and sustainable use of the Baja California resources depend mostly on the well being of its mountain ecosystems. This will be possible only if we form strong alliances to preserve the natural resources.

- Horacio de la Cueva
Email: cohevolution@gmail.com

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