Since 1981, in which Garajonay was declared a National Park, several tasks have been carried out to retrieve the original natural ecosystems through works for the Restoration of Degraded Areas. For more than 25 years, they have been eliminating the pine trees planted in the sixties and replacing them by the original vegetation, the fayal-brezal (myrica-erica). The restored area exceeds 500 hectares.
The recovery of the endangered flora is being achieved thanks to the knowledge acquired about it after many years of studies on its biology, genetics, demography, etc. In many of them, its reproduction in nurseries was a huge success and resulted in extensive reintroductions in the natural environment. A good example of the success of the Genetic Rescue Program is the Saúco (Sambucus nigra ssp.palmensis),one of the species that, thanks to the recovery plans, has managed to regain its presence in the park. Of barely half a dozen specimens, there are now several hundred of them.
The fight against invasive alien species is, also, one of the axis on which we are working, in order to recover the richness and biodiversity of the park's ecosystems. The tasks were focused on two quite aggressive species: the oreja de gato (Tradescantia fluminensis) and, in the area of El Rejo, the tunera (Opuntia ficus-indica) .
To manage, you need to know.
Studies and research programmes carried out in Garajonay can be divided into two fields: the nature and the human being. Numerous studies and researches on the ecosystems of the park have been done since Garajonay was created: studies of the flora, fungi, fauna, soil, meteorology, ecology, biology… The Area of Ecological Monitoring of the park has a team of researchers that have been gathering data in more than 100 plots of the park for more than 20 years. The gathered information is used to see how the different ecosystems of the mountain evolve naturally, inasmuch as it is the first time nature is evolving without human interference since the creation of the park. Since the arrival of the first settlers, the mountain was exploited in one way or another. Our generation is the first that can get to know the mountain of La Gomera in all its glory.
A great deal of time and resources have also been invested to investigate the use the gomeros made of their mountain since prehistoric times. We must not forget that, thanks to the use the inhabitants made of the mountain, nowadays we can be proud of having a National Park, which is also World Heritage and an essential part of the Biosphere Reserve of the island. Among all the studies, two stand out: the excavations of the archaeological site, located on the summit of the park and of the island - the Alto de Garajonay; and the ethnographic study on the traditional uses of the mountain, which had its climax with the completion of the documentary "La Gomera, an island that coexists with its mountain".
Unfortunately, the forest fires burnt part of the territory of the national park. A rigorous anti-erosion plan has become imperative, which involves soil retention and repopulation with local species, in order to restore the vegetation cover.