The forest borders the Aurora Watershed Forest Reservation and Aurora Memorial National Park and is of major historical and cultural importance to the two indigenous groups. The Dumagat and Alta are historically hunter-gatherer communities with a strong affinity for nature. Their forest, rivers and coastal waters provide them with ferns, palms, honey, wild rambutan, shrimps, crabs and fish etc. as sources of nutrition, livelihoods, medicine and structural materials.
Daluhay (a Philippine NGO) has been working with the Indigenous communities since February 2016. Together they have formulated a Community Conservation and Protection Plan for the area which is catalysing a network of community conserved areas to protect the Sierra Madre Biodiversity Corridor from infrastructure projects and encroachment.
Now the Dumagat and Alta wish to carefully document and disseminate their Traditional Ecological Knowledge on conservation systems and practice; restore 400 degraded hectares with native trees; train 50 members of their tribal council on improved governance and leadership; and research and develop two forest-based sustainable livelihoods programs.