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The People

      

This is Home, this is not a simple project, this is a complex "Project" directed with fair and equitable means that is by and for the people of the land.

Anthropologists have identified human occupation of the southwestern United States as far back as 12,000 years to include the Anasazi, Hohokem, Patayon (Mogollon), and Salado people while territory of what is modern day Mexico was historically home to numerous indigenous civilizations to include Zapotecs and Mixtecs of the mountains prior to the arrival of Spanish conquestadores. After 1886, these mountains served as a refuge for the Chiricauhua Apache; bloody conflict was common with mestizos of local towns and ranches. Present day Uto-Aztecan language indigenous Tarahumara live in the central portion of the Sierra Madre range and Huichol in the southern portion. Alamos, Sonora is the northern gateway to the New World tropics. In Sonora in-tact tropical deciduous forest (TDF) reaches the Yécora-Onavas vicinity at 28°33'N latitude, and in isolated ranges west of the Río Yaqui as far north as the Sierra San Javier at 28°38'N. To the north there is a broad transition into foothills thornscrub (FTS), and then into Chihuahuan desertscrub, desert grassland, and oak woodland in the more temperate areas of northeastern Sonora. Unlike many areas in Mexico, the opportunities for conservation and research in rural Sonora are good because of favorable demographic trends. Cattle ranching is the most important activity in rural areas in northeastern as well as southern Sonora, with relatively few areas away from the coastal plain developed for agriculture. Large tracts of TDF are intact; only local areas have been cleared and converted to buffelgrass (Pennisetum ciliare) pastures. Although the TDF has been grazed for a long time, the recovery potential is high in most areas. In general, people are leaving rural areas as the grazing industry declines, young men seek work in cities or the United States, natural habitats are shrinking or gone.

As long as ranching and hunting is the choice of the people who inhabit and care for this land with an honest intent to sustain wildlife, Primero Conservation's Jaguar Project gladly joins the local people to enable their grass-roots effort of conservation and ranching for private landowners.
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