Mexico closes seven illegal sawmills in Monarch Reserve forest

Mexican environmental authorities say they have closed seven sawmills operating illegally in the monarch forest reserve that serves as the wintering ground for monarch butterflies that migrate to Mexico from the United States and Canada.

No logging is permitted in the reserve’s core zone, but loggers have tried to cut trees there in the past. A larger buffer zone does permit some strictly regulated logging and farming.

Illegal logging in the 33,484-acre (13,551-hectare) core zone dropped from almost 49.4 acres (20 hectares) in 2015 to about 29.6 acres (12 hectares) this year.

The butterflies are expected to begin arriving in Mexico in late October or early November.

© 2016 The Associated Press.

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