Save Ancient, Primeval Cloud Forest from Clear Cutting!

For: The Cloud Forest Conservation Initative
Asheville, NC
Organizer: Rob Lenfestey and Jeremy Schewe
$70,935
of $500,000 goal.
Raised by 142 donors
14% Complete
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The Story

Currently, Cerro El Amay is losing an acre of Ancient Primeval forest every day.
$135 will save an acre, $15,000 will save an entire parcel (derecho), $500,000 will save the entire threatened part of the Cloud Forest.

We have just found out that the flood gates have opened to the sale and deforestation of one of the most Beautiful and Ancient places on Earth. The Cloud Forests of Cerro El Amay are home to thousands of acres of untouched Primeval trees and the flourishing ecosystems that they support.

Time is of the essence. A few tracts have been bought and five acres has already been clear cut for lumber. We can actually force the buyers to sell to our Non-Profit, The Cloud Forest Conservation Initiative, but that requires the money to do so.

We want to create a Protected Core in the Heart of the forest. We will then build the conservation zone until the entire forest is protected forever.

I have never experienced a place so wild, and so viscerally powerful. Everywhere we go we find wonders, new species, beautiful caves and sink holes with their own unique ecosystems. This place has barely been explored at this point and has already yielded so much. 

When I found out that five acres (edit: now 8 acres...) were clear cut I was devastated. I found out that the locals had opened up the floodgates to anyone purchasing the 111 acre tracts known as 'derechos' to anyone who wants them. We want to make sure they all go into conservation.

I am asking for $15,000. That is the price of one 111-acre tract. Only 135 per acre. Let's turn it into $150,000, then the total, 500,000 and beyond. This is how we can change the world. I invite all of you to come and stay in this place with me some day. When you experience it for yourself you will understand why this is so important.

Thank you for making this dream a reality.

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on April 20, 2016

Posted on April 20, 2016

New Website!
Things are moving here at CFCI! We now have a new website and are making a huge push tomorrow all day to get the word out and get this forest saved If you would like to participate please e-mail me at [email protected]!
Here is a link to the New Website!

Posted on March 19, 2016

Posted on March 19, 2016

Here is a sneak peek of what we have found in Cerro El Amay. These are the headwaters of the massive water feature we have sought for the last few years. This waterfall issues forth from the cave hole you can see in the photo. Right at the edge of this cave is a deep pool you can sit in overlooking the falls and subsequent canyon. Every time I come to this place new and incredible gems reveal themselves. Ever more in love with Cerro El Amay.

To help us save this jewel, please donate to our campaign! It is only by our combined efforts that this place will remain for future generations!
New Waterfall in Cerro El Amay!


Posted on March 19, 2016

Posted on March 19, 2016

Cloud Forest Conservation Team 2016 has safely returned from the heart of Cerro El Amay. We explored our favorite cave more deeply and have discovered that it only continues deeper and larger beyond our current rope limit. Revisited the canopy of an ancient tropical oak and the epiphytic growth that exists there and went on a process of discovery that led to an unforeseen treasure; a veritable Shangri-la of spring fed waterfalls and canyons heretofore unseen by any known people. The magic only continues to grow as we dive into this beautiful and mysterious place. We also had to hike past a new scar of deforestation, painfully close to the heart of this forest. We hope to acquire that parcel and protect its remaining old growth while using the cut to model reforestation practices. I return to this effort to purchase and conserve these tracts of primeval wisdom with renewed vigor and enthusiasm. As I have been thoroughly fed and nourished by the forest, I have likewise been fed by you, my friends and family, in your support of protecting something priceless. While we were gone our campaign has grown tremendously, the word has spread and our team continues to grow. We really have only just begun, but for now that is enough. Thank you.

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