Schippia concolor - genus of one species endemic to Belize

Columbia River
Forest Preserve

Schippia concolor - genus of one species endemic to Belize


Charles Wright, OBE spent his last years of life engaged in a desperate battle to save Belize's rainforest,
especially the Columbia River Forest Preserve.  Not a wealthy man, this was the only legacy he could leave.
The following is excerpted from an article he wrote for ECO, Journal of Environmental Information, in 1996.

"I have been holding a watching-brief for nearly half my life, and I am naturally concerned at what now appears to be happening.
When I first came to British Honduras (now Belize) in 1952, I was in charge of the Land Use Survey Team...to evaluate the ...
potential...our report... appeared as a book, Land in British Honduras (1959)... Our fieldwork established that the
headwaters of the Columbia and Rio Grande Rivers were clothed in an unusual type of forest not elsewhere found...
In short, British Honduras was the custodian of a very significant and quite extensive biological relic.  Toledo
(the southernmost political district) is the only place in Belize where Campur limestone supports a true tropical rainforest..."


My note - in 1995, logging began in this preserve under an exclusive government contract after what
Charles' characterized as "covert (under-the-table) issuance of licenses..."  Charles concluded the article...

"To wait almost 50 years only to find that a process of rape of a valuable biological asset
has been contrived for the ultimate benefit of a few..., then I certainly cannot die a happy person. 
I feel that I have, in some measure, let down my many Mayan friends.   Ulahapchik."

               

Table of Contents