By BBN Staff: The Sarstoon Temash Institute of Indigenous Management (SATIIM) recovered a large amount of illegally harvested Santa Maria logwood
this week, a bust which SATIIM Executive Director Froyla Tzalam says will go a long way in keeping poachers out of the area.
Tzalam explained that the 1,030 board length of Santa Maria, a hardwood often mistaken for mahogany because of its beauty, was only
valued around $2,000; however, the area is an increasingly hot spot, which made going in and making the bust even more important.
“It was not about the financial value of the wood, but more about establishing a presence in the area,” Tzalam said.
She explained that the wood was extracted from the Sarstoon Temash National Park, an area where logging, fishing, and hunting are
prohibited, even if you have a valid logging permit. She stressed that not going in and making the bust would lead the poachers to believe that they could go in the area and do as they please, and possibly go to extract even more valuable resources from the area.
Tzalam added that the area is a hot spot for illegal activity and that narcotrafficking is becoming a growing concern for SATIIM rangers, who now have to ensure that they travel with security forces at all times
because of the increase in danger.