Mayor Petitions Costa Rica Government to Change Forestry Law in Light of Cypress Deforestation Debate

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    The mayor of San Rafael de Heredia, Jorge Isaac Paniagua, has asked the Commission for Environmental Affairs of the Legislative Assembly to reform the Forestry Law, in order to avoid the further cutting of cypress trees.

    Paniagua said they must make changes to Article 28 of the 7575 Act, which states that no outsiders have permission to cut trees like the cypress that is not absolutely necessary.

    The director of the environmental unit of the Public Service Company of Heredia (ESPH), Quírico Jimenez said that the 300 cypress trees cut down in northern San Rafael is legal, since they are on private property and the owner has the legal authority to do so.

    The official also said that in the area where the trees are being cut may affect spring water.

    A group of residents of San Rafael de Heredia reported Monday that the felling of the 300 cypress trees in the mountains of the canton affects water sources that supply Heredia and Alajuela.

    The executive president of the Costa Rican Institute of Aqueducts and Sewers (AyA), Yamileth Astorga said that these trees are essential for other species to survive and in order to protect water in these areas.

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