San Martin Ocotlán community forest management, Oaxaca, Mexico

Resource System
Forest ecosystem and associated watershed
Resource Units
Pine and oak timber products

The San Martin Ocotlán forest community encompasses a total of six settlements located in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico, of which San Martin Ocotlán is the largest.  The community has de jure rights to 13,000 ha of common property pine and oak forests.  The case study involves a time period from approximately 1958 to the mid to late 1990s and catalogues an action situation involving approximately 3,300 residents organized in circa 600 households, who supplement their subsistence maize farming with income from logging, woodcutting, and timber smuggling.  Timber is the main stationary resource unit.

The original case study author focused on elite capture and institutional performance.  The case study has subsequently been used in comparative analyses regarding Ostrom's Design Principles (see bibliography).