Monarchs gather on the oyamel firs.
However, the monarch butterflies that make their way south each year have some sort of superpower. They can live for up to seven months in order to survive the journey, make it through the winter and mate in the spring. Scientists have yet to figure out how they find their way back to the same wintering grounds year after year with no guide or familiarity with the route. What we do know is that when they get there, they depend on the oyamel fir forests for their wintering habitat. With our partner, La Cruz Habitat Protection Project, we have planted more than a million trees, mostly oyamel fir. Today, one of the major threats to monarchs is the use of pesticides on some of their preferred plants along the migration route. But, those who make it will always need healthy habitat to come home to, and we continue to protect and restore the oyamel forests of Michoacán. In 2013, Michoacán also became the site of our first Forestscape.
Check our our upcoming Forestscape excursions and other events.
Jami Westerhold, Esq., is responsible for the strategic development and management of American Forests’ Forest Restoration programs, including Global ReLeaf and Endangered Western Forests. Jami has worked in the environmental and conservation arena for more than 10 years. Prior to joining American Forests, Jami served in U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders’ office, working on environmental issues. Previously, she worked for U.S. Senator John Barrasso, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and also developed a pilot program for the Bureau of Land Management that identified and located environmental features and has since been implemented agency-wide. Jami earned a Master of Environmental Law and Policy and Juris Doctor from Vermont Law School and holds a Bachelor of Arts in environmental studies from Green Mountain College.
Megan works to select, support and facilitate communication with on-the-ground partners for many of American Forests’ restoration activities. Prior to joining American Forests, Megan interned at a local United Way and worked for La Ceiba Microfinance Institution, a student-run microfinance nonprofit that works with impoverished communities in Honduras. While at La Ceiba MFI, she assisted with several rounds of field work and directed an initiative utilizing recycled, repurposed products to develop economic autonomy for local women in El Progreso, Honduras. She holds a dual Bachelor of Science degree in economics and environmental science from the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Va. Megan has been working with American Forests for nearly four years and thoroughly enjoys the relationships she has built and the amazing ecosystem restoration work she has been a part of.