area, along with areas of northern Guatemala and
southern Mexico make up La Selva Maya, the largest
intact tropical rainforest in Central America.
The Macal River separates that forest from a very
adjacent reserve: the Mountain Ridge Forest Reserve
north of the river. This pine forest occurs naturally,
but grows on granite outcroppings that push through
the underlying limestone. The tropical pine forest
was largely decimated by the southern pine beetle
between 1999 and 2003 but is rapidly recovering from
the bark beetle infestation.