Forestry Department halts clearing of part of Scarlet Macaw’s range in Red Bank

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Posted: Wednesday, April 21, 2021. 11:15 a.m. CST.

By Aaron Humes: The Forestry Department has halted clearing of land deemed important for the protection of the Scarlet Macaw in the Lower Stann Creek District.

Stann Creek West regional representative Rodwell Ferguson told BBN this morning by phone that clearing on the north side of Red Bank Village has been halted, having started two to three weeks ago.

Prominent tourist guide and native of the village Basilio Mes sounded the alarm in a social media post, saying the Macaw Hills north of the village and stretching east to west are being targeted for cleaning up for quite some time now.

According to Ferguson, he has not and will not give land in the area. But Mes told us that the villagers ignore it and go to farm on the hillsides, clearing virgin forest and reclaiming land that is not very good for agriculture.

Worse, Mes told us that among the small number of people involved, at least one already has a large agricultural area along the Swasey River in an area known as Danto Creek, the designated agricultural section of the village, but refuses. to cultivate there in spite of a better soil.

Mes formed a non-governmental organization, the Scarlet Youth Empowerment Organization, which is currently in the process of registering for NGO status. Once he claims that status, the Forestry Department should partner with him to secure protection for the area, which he says should have happened a long time ago but has not happened.

Mes hopes to persuade the villagers to stop clearing the forest hills which destroy the nests of scarlet macaws and further endanger the species.

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