A Michigan State University geographer just back from a grueling 700-mile trek along the Transamazon Highway says there are signs Brazil’s environmental protection efforts are taking hold.

The 10-day trip was part of Bob Walker’s continuing research on deforestation in the Amazon. The National Science Foundation is funding the work.

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Walker says he and two fellow scientists confirmed illegal logging and gold-mining operations that threaten further damage to the world’s largest rain forest.

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But Walker says they also found wide areas of undisturbed forest in nationally protected areas and indigenous reserves.

Walker says they also found examples of Brazil’s government halting unofficial road building.

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