The Michoacan Reforestation Foundation (MRF), founded in 1998, is a non-profit organization whose goal is to support forest ecosystem and habitat restoration programs in and around the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in central Mexico. We work in close partnership with the Mexican lord of the nursery, Jose Luis Alvarez, and his La Cruz Habitat Protection project.

IT BEGAN WITH A BOLD DECISION.
When Jose Luis Alvarez heard about severe deforestation in the monarch reserves, he was already working on reforestation projects near his tree farm in Santa Clara del Cobre, a community near the town of patzcauro in central Mexico. He went to see the monarch's forest with his own eyes. This had a profound impact on Jose Luis. His heart ached when he saw that the original lush forest was gone, and the mountain slopes were exposed.

By spring of the following year four families were willing to make the bold decision to stop growing corn on some of their land and try to turn it back into forest. Jose Luis' vision encompasses reforesting the area, protecting the monarchs and helping the poor communities, called ejidos, who live nearby. In 1997 Jose Luis also started working with Bob Small from the U.S.. With seed money that bought 7,000 trees for the first four ejidadarios, Bob helped found the Michoacan Reforestation Fund (MRF). Bob and Jose Luis then founded the Monarch Butterfly Overwintering Area Reforestation Project (MOARP) - a collaborative effort between the MRF and Jose Luis' La Cruz Habitat Protection Project (LCHPP).