Seven years ago, Jose Alvarez started a nursery, Vivero Hacienda La Cruz, to grow a variety of trees to be used in the habitat protection and restoration efforts. The La Cruz Habitat Protection Project will use the oyamel fir, different types of pines, oaks, and other plants such as cherry, crab apple, and blackberry in its efforts to save critical habitats.
Jose employs campesinos who live in the area around Hacienda La Cruz. In addition to men, some of the campesinos are single women or widows. When one sees the condition of their dwellings and how they live, economic benefit of the employment provided by Vivero Hacienda La Cruz apparent. All of the trees at Vivero Hacienda La Cruz are propagated from seeds that come from local pine cones or cuttings from local plants. All of the plants are well acclimated to be transplanted to the higher mountains where the Monarch Santuaries are located. The oyamel firs, pines, and the rest of the plants at Vivero Hacienda La Cruz have a 90% survival rate. When they are transplanted, they grow vigorously and rapidly.Last Updated: Feb 25, 1997: Jack Mikula / Neil Weininger