La Reserva Forest Foundation

La Reserva Forest Foundation is a Costa Rican non-profit, tax exempt foundation working to restore and preserve native tropical forests, dedicated to creating "tree bridges" linking isolated forest islands using volunteers and the local school communities, and fighting global warming through various carbon neutral projects.
Feb 4, 2015

THREATS AND CHALLENGES TO THE FORESTS OF LIBERIA

The wood behind me is to be burned for charcoal
The wood behind me is to be burned for charcoal

We are a little late submitting this report because this time Neabei was able to get out in the field to illustrate what has happened to the pristine Liberian forests and continues to happen.

As you know the research forest at the University of Liberia’s extension campus in Bensonville was the site of destruction during the many years of civil war in the country. The refugees camped near the university and out of necessity cut all of the trees, many rare and precious woods, to use for charcoal to cook. Neabei’s short, image illustrated report shows the damage that continues to tak place in the country. That’s why we are so excited about the donations we’ve been receiving for this project so that we can…GET PLATING IT! It will give a great boost to this war torn and disease plagued country, they deserve it. Neabei’s report follows:

This summary report depicts some of the numerous ways in which the forests of Liberia are being depleted by the unlawful operations of citizens and even foreigners in the name of survivability.

The forest are becoming very thin as the trees are being cut down for charcoal burning and illegal pit sawing activities.

Subsistent rotational farming activities also have great part to play in the depletion of the Liberian forests whereas there is no reforestation strategy at the level of individual subsistent farmers.

I was on a tour in some of the forest areas to see how the actions of illicit forest families and individuals are depleting the forests. 

Thin forest canopy from forest degradation
Thin forest canopy from forest degradation
Subsistence farming impacts
Subsistence farming impacts
Neabei in the field, on the trail
Neabei in the field, on the trail
Feb 3, 2015

Plan B

Jeffrey and me three years ago
Jeffrey and me three years ago

Today a second notice arrived to remind me that a progress report was due and I’m very sorry for leaving you all hanging but I’ve been waiting for some vital information concerning this project so that I could pass it on to you.

I posted this project initially in mid 2012…a lot of time has passed since then and consequently the majority of the six landowners who wanted to participate have changed plans for their land or even passed away. Aware of this, Matt Lee, the president of LRFF, and I met a couple of weeks ago and decided that we could revise the “Reforesting Guatuso” project and include only Jeffrey Lacayo’s property at the Maleku Palenque Sol. I told Matt it was small enough that we might have enough funds to implement it with the donations we have received to day and the roll over of funds from another project we want to deactivate for the same reason.

That’s where we stand currently with this project, waiting for the land measurement to be confirmed by Jeffrey. I talked to him and he wants to go on but things move real slowly in Costa Rica. When I get the land area to be planted I can revise the budget for the area, amount of trees, fencing, labor, etc. You will see the new project and will be the first to know when we can begin the nursery and start planting. 

Jeffrey
Jeffrey's land - will plant around the edge
Jan 9, 2015

8000 Trees in Two Months

Starting out, the land is prepared/cleared
Starting out, the land is prepared/cleared

LRFF planted 7000 trees in July 2014 (you remember “For the Monkeys”) and another 1000 in September 2014, this time at the Maleku Indigenous Tribe Reserve again.

We planted Helen Hollenbeck's trees on September 8th at Nicida Elizondo's property in Palenque Margarita. It was a super hot day, full sun and there were 6 of us planting. YES me 2! A BIG thank you goes out to Beth Hollenbeck for her generous donation to honor her late sister, Helen, making this project possible. 

Helen was one of LRFF's first supporters, when I founded the organization in 2005 in Costa Rica. She was instrumental in putting together our first, local fundraiser at the nearby "party house". She continued to support our projects until her death almost two years ago. She now has a one-hectare forest that holds her spirit, along the Rio Sol adjacent to the 35-hectare Rio Sol Biological Corridor project planted in 2011 - 2012 (35,000 trees).

See the photos for a sequential view of the planting…another 1000 trees in the ground. They will sequester and store more than 20 metric tons of GHG emissions each year.

We finished the planting by 3 pm and then went to pay doña Nicida for the trees she raised in her nursery for six months prior to the planting. We planted over 95 native species. 

 

Maleku Cultural Festival

My family, the Maleku indigenous tribe, held their annual cultural festival the first weekend in October. I haven't attended since 2010 but made it a priority this year.  I didn't get many photos but my friend, Hiqui Maleku posted Ricardo Araya's professional quality photos and I wanted to share them with you...

One other contest was the Chicha drinking contest. Chicha is the Maleku version of wine or beer, fermented Yuca (Cassava), Corn or even Pineapple. This year the contestants were all women and Daisy won by drinking a large bowl in less than 45 seconds.

HAPPY NEW YEAR...and LET'S GET PLANTING IN 2015! 

Yours truly planting! :)
Yours truly planting! :)
Sharpening the machete
Sharpening the machete
1000 trees in the ground the same day
1000 trees in the ground the same day
Maleku cultural festival...fish anyone?
Maleku cultural festival...fish anyone?
Weaving
Weaving
 

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