In many ways, the community of Monteverde is a model for the ways that individuals and small groups of regular people can affect real changes in the preservation of locally and globally significant forest. When Quaker settlers fleeing the US draft first arrived in Monteverde, they did not fully comprehend the importance of the trees that they were cutting to make way for pastures and homesteads, but it wasn’t long before they realized the effects of indiscriminate deforestation. To ensure the stability of the landscape and the longevity of their community, they began to set aside important tracts of forest to conserve their watershed, putting in place a precedent that would be followed for decades to come. Today, Monteverde has miles and miles of protected forest and some of the purest water in the world, thanks to the foresight of the Quaker settlers and Costa Rican locals who made conservation a priority for their community.