In 1972, under the threat of homesteading in the surrounding rain forest, it was decided to promote the establishment of a private nature preserve. The Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve contains 6 distinct ecological zones. There are wind-sculpted woodlands on the exposed ridges and protected cove rainforests of majestically tall trees festooned with orchids, bromeliads, ferns, vines, and mosses. Poorly-drained areas support swamp forests, while parts of the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, dissected by deep gorges, have numerous crystal clear streams tumbling over rapids and waterfalls. The variable climate and altitude have helped produce an extremely high biodiversity.