The Monarch Butterfly Fund is the result of a merger between the Michoacán Reforestation Fund (MRF) and the Monarch Butterfly Sanctary Foundation (MBSF). MRF was established as a non-profit organization in 1997 by Robert L. Small(“Bob”), a retired administrator specializing in land use issues. With his Bob’s help, Jose Luis Alvarez, a successful Mexican nurseryman and owner of Vivero La Cruz, created the La Cruz Habitat Protection Project (LCHPP-Mexico), a project committed to reforestation and promoting sustainable forest management in the buffer zone of the Reserve, in the highlands of Michoacán, Mexico.

MBSF was founded in 1996 by Dr. Lincoln Brower (Sweet Briar College and monarch researcher for over 50 years), Elizabeth Howard (founder of the program Journey North), and Dr. Karen Oberhauser (University of Minnesota and founder of Monarchs in the Classroom and the Monarch Larva Monitoring Project). MBSF focused on environmental education, economic development, and research. MBSF involved as many partners as possible in its conservation efforts, thus developing strong working relationships with a multitude of stakeholders.

In 2009, MBSF and MRF joined forces to maximize our effectiveness at the monarch butterfly overwintering sites. We believe that conservation of these delicate areas is better served by uniting our efforts. We will continue to support forest conservation and management, reforestation, and related research and education.