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Mukogodo Forest – A Key Feature in Our Rangelands

Mukogodo Forest is the last most intact dry land forest in Laikipia. At about 74,000 acres, it rivals the combined size of Borana and Lewa Conservancies (93,000 acres) – some of its closest neighbors. It is an important dry season grazing reserve and lies on an important historical elephants’ migration route between the Northern Rangelands and Laikipia, traversing Borana and Lewa Conservancies, Ngare Ndare Forest, and is part of the elephant corridor leading to Mt. Kenya.  It’s an important conservation site, and an important wildlife dispersal area.  

ILMAMUSI Community Forest Association (CFA) is the custodian of Mukogodo Forest. The CFA is governed by a board of directors with representation from the four group ranches (Ilngwesi, Makurian, Mukogodo and Sieku) surrounding Mukogodo forest (see map).  The board also includes 4 group ranch chiefs and thus the Board constitutes a total of 12 members.

The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and Kenya Forest Service (KFS) are represented in the ILMAMUSI Board. Four supporting partners are observers on the ILMAMUSI Board – Borana and Lewa Conservancies, NRT and LWF. They have supported ILMAMUSI historically and in particular for the last three years through the help of different donors like the Disney Conservation Fund, EKN, USAID and FAO.

Mukogodo Forest is a national forest reserve and a national water tower. It is also a very important habitat for elephants. The Forest Conservation and Management Act 2016 make a provision for local forest management, including national forest reserves.

The Association is responsible for implementing the Participatory Forest Management Plan (PFMP) and Forest Management Agreement (FMA). These tools guide activities in the Forest in agreement with the Kenya Forest Service.

More recently, the four group ranches have joined the Northern Rangelands Trust as conservancies. Il Ngwesi and Lerkkuruki/Sieku are more historical members, while Makurian and Kurikuri are more recent additions- <see map> This move to a conservancy status indicates that the primary motive for land use in the area is conservation.

Stay tuned for important updates on Mukogodo Forest – an important cultural, conservation and natural resource site in the greater Laikipia landscape.

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