Title: Passing the baton from the Tainos to tomorrow: forest conservation in Puerto Rico
Source: FS-862. U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, International Institute of Tropical Forestry, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Abstract: This book contains a brief history of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Forest Service in Puerto Rico. We wrote the book to celebrate the centennial of the agency and to draw attention to the role of the USDA Forest Service in the conservation of natural resources in the tropics. To tell the story in its proper historical context, we begin in prehistory, because El Yunque, now under the custodianship of the USDA Forest Service, has awed and influenced even the earliest of the island’s inhabitants. The story also takes us to an overview of some 400 years of Spanish rule that ended in the 19th century, when numerous conservation actions were implemented by the Spanish authorities. USDA Forest Service activities on the island actually date back more than 100 years. Foresters from the Bureau of Forestry were active in Puerto Rico since just before the turn of the 20th century, and the national forest was proclaimed in 1903, before the USDA Forest Service was created in 1905.
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