Our aim is to work toward the restoraton of healthy forests on the mountainsides of Central Mexico’s highlands. The restoration of forests reduces erosion and protects the watersheds. It also provides wildlife habitat and a source of firewood and income for the local people. Since the reforestation project was started in 1997, we have helped many local communities convert corn and oat fields back into forested land, a difficult task due to the degraded soil conditions and highly exposed nature of the sites on steep mountainsides. Participants receive technical assistance for sustainable management of their reforested lands, enabling them to have wood for their daily needs.
In addition to reforesting farmland that was cleared decades ago, many seedlings are planted by communities to restore forests degraded by fires or logging. Once the seedlings become established, they grow rapidly, reaching a height of one meter in a year. The trees continue to grow rapidly, attaining a basal diameter of 16 inches in 15 years, thereby constituting a valuable timber resource that can be used as income by the landowners or communities. On the other hand, some communities do not want to harvest trees at all, having experienced mudslides and loss of spring flow due to forest and watershed degradation. They wish to restore the forests to protect their homes and water supply.
La Cruz Habitat Protection Project, Inc. is a U.S. non-profit organization that partners with La Cruz Habitat Protection Project – Mexico to support the planting and management of sustainable new forests in Michoacan, Mexico and beyond.