On July 23, 2020, GDFCF closed on a unique parcel of mostly old-growth forest, adding 75 hectares (about 185 acres) to Área de Conservación Guanacaste’s 169,000 hectares. Thanks to a very generous donation from the BAND Foundation, GDFCF was able to purchase this parcel of land from the Brizuela family, who has long dairy ranched in this area. The property, which lies on the current border of ACG, is a key addition, as it is located directly within the transition zone between ACG’s Pacific dry forest and mid-elevation Caribbean rain forest. Situated on the lower southeastern slope of Volcán Cacao, Bosque Transición is extra-valuable in that it is the only connection in this area of Sector San Cristobal, with an all-weather road, making research and management access to the base of the 600-1500 m transect up Volcán Cacao, and other adjacent ACG properties, much easier.
Most old-grown forest that lies in the intersection between dry and rain forest in this part of Costa Rica was long ago destroyed by agriculture or ranching. Intermediate elevation dry-wet ecosystems with good road access are effectively extinct in Costa Rica. The very few remaining intersection zones are incredibly valuable ecologically, as this dry-wet interface (overlap) has a fauna that is, in part, that of each very different ecosystem (rain forest and dry forest species side by side) but also species unique to that ecosystem. Bosque Transición, which includes 55 hectares of original forest and about 20 that are in an advanced stage of regeneration, is an important conservation accomplishment for ACG and the neighbors nearby.
The Brizuela family was very happy to know that their forest would be protected forever. As Carlos Amador, a partner to the Brizuela dairy ranch and ecotourist lodge said, “I really feel an immense peace in my heart after closing this stage of my life, with the certainty that this forest and the surrounding lands that for years we have taken care of, will be in the best possible hands.”
We are grateful to Sigifredo and Alejandro Marín, GDFCF project managers, for their critical role in ensuring this sale would happen, to the Brizuela family for allowing it, and to the ACG staff for taking on one more piece of responsibility.