La Cruz Habitat Protection Program provides trees free of charge to willing communities and land owners who agree to plant and to care for their new forests. Some of these new forests become plantations from which wood will provide an economic resource for families who live in poverty. Training is given on care and sustainable harvesting so the new forests will continue to protect fragile mountainside soils, and provide wildlife habitat and livelihoods for local families for generations into the future.
As a campesino once told us, “When I cut a tree, I have to make a decision: cut the tree and feed my children and 5,000 monarchs may die, or not cut the tree so the monarchs can live and let my children go hungry. In the end, there is only one choice.”
The LCHPP Forests for Monarchs project allows campesinos, like the one mentioned above, to have wood and fuel for their family’s daily needs while investing in the future. Their trees grow while they learn to manage their new forests sustainably. Since there are few job opportunities in these rural mountains, our project offers the local people a way to earn money from their forests without destroying their environment.