July 30, 2010 - Edgar was hospitalized this week with Hemorrhagic Dengue Fever. There have been a higher than normal number of cases of Dengue in Belize this rainy season. It is most prevalent in cities and towns. After a few days in the hospital, Edgar was doing much better.
Denfield returned from two weeks in The Doris Wilderness and he reports that all is well and beautiful in The Doris rainforest.
Good news! This past week Doris Hemsley (the namesake of The Doris Wilderness) was re-elected as Chairman of Young Gal Road. The first parcel of The Doris Wilderness is located down Young Gal Road, and was established to protect an island in the Belize River on which green iguanas lay hundreds of eggs. Congatulations to Doris!
April 18, 2010 - 1:30 p.m. ET US Time -- Denfield just notified Ellen that one of the gang that cut down the trees was arrested this morning by the police when he returned to the Doris Wilderness to get his chain saw that he left behind. 38 more trees had been marked to be destroyed. The wood that was stolen has reportedly left Belize. Authorities are continuing the investigation.
April 18, 2010 Denfield discovered 14 additional large hardwood trees that had been marked for cutting. He also found a chainsaw in the area, which probably supports the assumption that they were planning to return soon to destroy the marked trees. Denfield has added a gate to block a pre-existing primitive road, and some additional boundaries barriers to restrict access from the public road in the area.
April 16, 2010 - Sometime over the past two weeks a gang used ATVs and chain saws to illegally cut down twelve large hardwood trees from the Doris Wilderness. This is a common practice executed by quick-moving teams who chop down the trees, cut out the best wood and hawl it out for use in building custom homes, mostly for Americans.
May 5, 2013
A set of Chinese in Belize have created a crisis in The Doris Wilderness and other areas of Belize rainforest. Some local Chinese are paying $6.00 a pound to hunters for cougar and jaguar meat. Local hunters are out in force hunting in the rainforest, killing "all kinds of animals" as they hunt for the big cats, according to Denfield.
Perhaps worse than anything, the campfires they start at night to cook the gibnuts they kill are spreading. Over sixty acres of The Doris Wilderness have burned from this already, and Denfield and Edgar (with extra hired help) are on 24 hour patrol to cut firebreaks and track down the hunters to report them to the BDF.
This is a senseless tragedy driven by a set of relatively wealthy people who believe in ridiculous myths about the powers of big cat organs, thus, creating a huge financial incentive to kill big cats in the wilderness. It is a terrible, senseless tragedy born of ignorance and blind, selfish greed.
Pictures to follow.
August 2012 - Photographed in The Doris Wilderness --
The endangered Morelet's Tree Frog (Agalychnis moreletii)
The Doris Wilderness appears to have a significant population of the endangered Morelet's Tree Frogs. We observed several on the evening of August 15, 2012 in trees and bushes over a flooded area of forest. They were vocalizing loudly.
January 12, 2011 - The new surveys show the accurate total acreage under the protection of The Doris Wilderness at slightly under 6000 acres.
The Doris Wilderness has expanded its protection to an additional 1656 acres. The land was formally acquired on September 22, 2010. Denfield and his team are working to ensure the proper protective boundary designations are in place. The Doris Wilderness now includes 5656 of old-growth tropical forest.
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Denfield Welcome is Vice President of The Doris Wilderness. He was born and raised back-a-bush on Young Gal Road, Belize. He has worked tirelessly to create and protect the precious old-growth rainforests of Belize, in the face of attempts on his life and constant efforts by poachers and special interests trying to take the trees, water, animals and land from The Doris Wilderness. The Doris Wilderness Foundation would like to thank Denfield for his integrity and his undying commitment to his country's natural world.
May 11th, 2011
Willem van Rijn, COO of Greenpeace said:
So great to see that so many of us make their own contribution in their own way. Preserving the rain forests, the lungs of the world, the cutting of which is responsible for some 20% of the world's CO2 problem, is an important part of the solution. We at Greenpeace are proud of you, and especially of the director on the ground. From our ongoing encampments in the Amazon, Paradise Forests and the Congo, we know all too well how brave these people are and the tremendous risks they take for their personal safety in the the interest of us all.
Greetings, from the impressed Greenpeace COO, Willem
March, 2011 - The Doris Wilderness provided funding to expand the Teakettle Community Center. The rooms added to the back of the center allow for an expansion of services provided to pre-school children attending regular classes at the center.
The Doris Wilderness provided the funds to restore and re-paint the Teakettle Community Center where council meetings and pre-school for the village are held. Repairs began and will be done by August 15.
October 25, 2011 - We are happy to report that an additional 176 acres have been added to The Doris Wilderness. This new area is an important addition, as it includes the surface source of a beautiful stream and waterfall in one of the most impressive areas of The Doris. The water emerges from an underground cave stream for only a few hundred yards, tumbles over a small waterfalls into a permanent pool, and slowly drains out of bottom of that pool back into the cave. With this addition, The Doris Wilderness now has 6200 acres within its protective boundaries.
October 13, 2011 - "The robbers came back with a truck for the wood from the trees they had illegally cut down earlier. But, when they tried to leave The Doris, they were faced with a deep ditch Denfield had dug with the help of the Mennonite and his equipment near the road to stop poacher vehicles. Denfield and Edgar were there and the robbers took off running back through the jungle. Denfield didn't chase them. Instead, Edgar drove the truck (don't know how they got it out) with the illegally cut wood to the police. If the truck isn't claimed in 2 months they will give it to Denfield. If someone shows up for the truck they will be fined heavily." That's the way Denfield and Edgar get the job done protecting The Doris Wilderness.
Edgar Aguillar is the Lead Ranger for The Doris Wilderness. He works closely with Denfield Welcome (Vice President of The Doris Wilderness). Edgar has keen understanding of the animals and plants of the forest and is dedicated to safeguarding them. The Doris Wilderness Foundation commends Edgar's dedication to preserving the old-growth rainforest of Belize.
November 18, 2011 - Denfield reported today: "Yesterday we saw the jaguar in the jungle, but were unable to get photos." The jaguar he saw is suspected of killing and eating some of a local farmer"s (and friend of The Doris) cows. The Doris Wilderness is compensating the farmer for the cows.
September 5, 2011 - Denfield reported today that tree-poachers illegally invaded a remote part of the Pine Ridge area of The Doris Wilderness, cut down and stole dozens of giant old-growth hardwood trees, including many mahogany trees. Pictures will follow.
August 19, 2011 - ACES: "The ground breaking ceremony for the New "ACES Educational Croc Refuge" in Ambergris Caye, Belize. Special thanks to donors Dan & Ellen Plunkett of the Doris Wilderness, Dillon Plunkett, Rachel Ithen, Mario Cervoni of The Green Iguana, Chris Summers of ACES, Kimane Garbutt, and the "San Pedro Sun" for capturing the moment on video to share with all of you.
THE DORIS WILDERNESS DONATES & PARTNERS WITH THE AMERICAN CROCODILE EDUCATION SANCTUARY
Posted by Cherie Chenot-Rose on June 6, 2011 at 12:51 PM
The Doris Wilderness , a 6000-acre private wilderness in central Belize, made a generous donation to ACES/American Crocodile Education Sanctuary. The donation (combined with the recent Legend's Fundraiser profits) will enable ACES to complete three 60' x 65' natural crocodile habitats at the new ACES Educational Crocodile Eco-Sanctuary, located at Caribbean Shrimp Farm, LTD, in Ladyville, and then relocate the crocs from Punta Gorda to their new home.
The Doris Wilderness was established by Ellen and Dan Plunkett and Denfield Welcome to preserve a portion of old-growth tropical forest and the fauna within.
The Doris Wilderness is named after Doris Hemsley, the mother of Denfield Welcome, and the director of the preserve.
Thank you Doris Wilderness for helping take a bite out of extinction!
Cherie, Vince & the crocodiles of Belize
December 4, 2011 - From Denfield and Edgar, photographs of the damage left by the last incident of illegal logging in The Doris Wilderness.
On July 31, 2010 a truck followed Denfield and his wife, Alicia, back from a patrol of The Doris. On the highway, the truck rammed Denfield's vehicle, causing it to flip and tumble off the road. Somehow Denfield and Alicia survived relatively unharmed. The vehicle that rammed Denfield had Guatemalan plates and the driver told police he was trying to kill Denfield because of Denfield's actions to stop illegal cutting of hardwood in The Doris Wildernes. His said, "I want him dead." He was sent to Hattieville prison to await trial.
A wilderness preserve in central Belize
Established to preserve a portion of old-growth tropical forest and the fauna within
Photographs by Dan & Ellen Plunkett, Ryan Plunkett, & Denfield Welcome
The Doris Wilderness