The legacy of the Maya forest is entwined with the Maya people who have lived and worked across this landscape over the past five millennia or more. The signatures of their land use, the complexity of their strategies, and the diversity of their adaptation is only recently being investigated, let alone understood. This special issue of the Journal of Ethnobiology takes a close look at the region and brings into focus the intricacies that must be considered in the explanations of the rise and fall of the Maya as well as the conservation of the Maya forest today. The papers herein combine archaeological and ethnographic data on the Maya and the long history of their relationship with the forest. Underscoring all the papers is the evidence that the Maya tropics are resilient as a result of the land use strategies that have become a part of its essence.
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