The Columbia Forest Reserve in Belize – Everything You Need To Know
Who Established It?
The Columbia River Forest Reserve was established by the Belizean Forest Department.
What is It?
The Columbia River Forest Reserve is the single largest region of undisturbed rain forest in Central America. Its size consists of a total of 103,000 acres of terrain, ranging in elevation from 900 to 2700 meters above sea level, or 2953 to 8858 feet for those more familiar with the imperial system of measurements.
What Does it Have to Show Tourists?
The Little Quartz Ridge is its most notable geological feature, consisting of a quartz fin reaching up to 1040 meters above sea level. The fin’s natural sloping leads to shallow caverns along the rocky sides of creek paths, making plenty of potential homes for the large number of creatures that call the Belizean rainforest their own.
Where is It Located?
The Columbia River Forest Reserve is located just north of the Maya settlement known as San Jose. As the reserve’s name implies, San Jose was established along the route of the Columbia River. In total, the reserve is contained with the Cayo and Toledo districts.
When Was It Established?
When the reserve was initially planned in June of 1954, it was intended to cover 110,720 acres. Its official establishment as a forest reserve occurred in 1997.
Why Was It Established?
The original intent of the Columbia River Forest Reserve was to serve as a way of keeping mahogany wood around and for the Belizean government to restore the land used for logging mahogany and other natural resources as well as being used by other species. In the time since 1954, the reason for the reserve’s existence has shifted to one of promoting sustainable hardwood logging policies, preservation of the region’s vast range of biodiversity and role in protecting the watersheds of the Columbia River.
How Well Has It Succeeded?
While the original acreage of the reserve’s rain forest content was only 110,720, the current figure of terrain today places its acreage at 148,300. Beyond an increase of nearly 34 percent, the Columbia River Forest Reserve is the largest of the 16 forest reserves within the country of Belize, edging ahead of the Chiquibul Forest Reserve by less than 500 acres. Taking these numbers into account, it seems that this place is certainly a success.