Across vast tracts of rugged ground from Maine to California, Latinos do the dirty work in America's woods. They plant trees by the millions, thin out snarls of vegetation that stunt the growth of commercial timber and slash away the dense mats of brush and spindly trees that stoke forest fires.

They are pineros, the men who work in the pines. They are the major source of manual labor in America's forest industry, the muscle behind the Healthy Forest Initiative - often paid in tax dollars to work on public lands. And they are being misused and abused under the noses of government officials.

Even frequent visitors to America's forests may never see them. They live in motels and campgrounds on the fringes of society, traveling through resort towns long before dawn on their hours'-long commutes to deep backwoods areas.

In this three-part investigation, The Bee takes you inside the hidden lives of the pineros.

On to Part 1 »


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Friday, August 11, 2006 Bee's Pineros series wins awards

Saturday, May 27, 2006 Protections for pineros inserted into immigration reform bill

Friday, May 26, 2006 'Pineros' report wins photojournalism award

Friday, May 19, 2006 Forest guest workers tell of abuses

Sunday, May 7, 2006 Untrained migrants fight fires

Friday, May 5, 2006 Special presentation: Fallen pineros come home

Thursday, May 4, 2006 Bee's 'Pineros: Men of the Pines' series honored with fairness prize

Tuesday, April 18, 2006 Pineros series honored

Thursday, March 16, 2006 Editorial: All talk

Tuesday, March 14, 2006 Bee's 'Pineros' series captures reporting award

Thursday, March 9, 2006 Firm fined in van crash is OK'd to hire pineros

Thursday, March 2, 2006 Senators get earful on forest labor abuse

Wednesday, March 1, 2006 Contractors rip rivals for pineros' plight

Thursday, February 23, 2006 Forest firms in state face probes

Saturday, February 11, 2006 Senate panel to hear plight of pineros

Wednesday, February 8, 2006 Congress looks into forest worker issues

Sunday, January 29, 2006 Village weeps for lost sons

Sunday, January 8, 2006 U.S. adds regulatory clout to help pineros

Tuesday, January 3, 2006 Another view: Pineros left without legal help

Saturday, December 31, 2005 New call for forest labor review

Tuesday, December 27, 2005 Editorial: A Forest Service duty

Sunday, December 25, 2005 Anguish grips forest workers after crash

Thursday, December 22, 2005 Tragedy is echoed as crash kills forest worker

Sunday, December 4, 2005 Editorial: Protecting pineros

Saturday, December 3, 2005 Pineros' plight to get review in D.C.

Thursday, December 1, 2005 Help for pineros vowed

Wednesday, November 23, 2005 Pinero's family to get benefit

Saturday, November 19, 2005 Forest worker review sought

Related Audio

Monday, Nov. 14: Listen as Bee reporter Tom Knudson and photographer Hector Amezcua speak about this project on "Insight," a program on Sacramento's KXJZ 88.9 FM