in the Monarch Sanctuary Region
Domestic Uses of Wood
Burrow-Loads Per Week
According to Ed Raskin of the Michoacan
Reforestation Project, a typical family uses 2 burrow-loads of wood
per week for firewood alone. One burrow carries a half a cubic meter of
wood. This means that a typical family would use some 50 cubic meters
of firewood per year. Multiplying this figure by the rural population
in the region of 90,000, the equivalent of 40,000 mature oyamel fir trees
is needed for firewood.
Families Receive New Stoves
In response to this demand on the forest, conservation programs have aimed
to reduce wood consumption by moving toward alternative stoves.
not as warm, but it is nice when my husband is feeling lazy about collecting
wood," laughed Señora de Jesus about her new government-issued
gas stove. "We can cook immediately, we don’t have to wait
for the fire."
2002, the governments of Michoacan and Mexico provided stoves to families
who live in the immediate vicinity of the sanctuaries. While the stoves
are efficient, the traditional wood stove is hard to give up. The kitchen
stove is the only source of heat during the cold winter months at 10,000
about the truckloads of wood they see coming down the mountain and passing
their store, the Romero family in downtown Angangueo is also trying to
cut back on their use of firewood by cooking with gas. "It’s
cold, but we’re willing to make the sacrifice," says Estela
Emila Romero cozy in bed, with her mother, Estela
Stoves Cut Wood Use by 50%
The Mexican conservation organization "Alternare"
works with reserve communities to build energy efficient adobe stoves.
Alternare estimates a 50% reduction in wood use with these stoves. In
addition, much less indoor smoke is produced, an important health benefit
to the family.
Visiting American Family Found Angangueo COLD
Last year, teacher
Dave Kust and his family traveled to Mexico with the monarchs during Dave’s
sabbatical. They made it through the cold Anagangueo nights in an unheated
home thanks to hot water bottles and piles of blankets on the beds. (Katie
Kust slept under seven!)
"I quickly began to understand how important this
microclimate was for the butteflies," said Dave.
Simply put, the cost of heat is too high because incomes in the area are
so low. A good and safe gas heater, one that could heat a big room, costs
$2,500 pesos. The gas to run the heater costs 25 pesos per day. Visitors
to the region never fail to be amazed at the cold conditions under which
people live. Temperatures inside the homes, day and night, remain in the
Science Education Standards
Humans depend on their natural and constructed environments. Humans change
environments in ways that can be either beneficial or detrimental for
themselves and other organisms. (K-4)
Scientists and engineers often work in teams with different individuals
doing different things that contribute to the results. (K-4)
in Personal and Social Perspectives
Some resources are basic materials, such as air, water, and soil; some
are produced from basic resources, such as food, fuel, and building materials;
and some resources are nonmaterial, such as quiet places, beauty, security,
and safety. (K-4)
of many resources is limited. If used, resources can be extended through
recycling and decreased use. (K-4)
How human actions modify the physical environment.