The Time to Plant Is Now: Help Us Restore Our Forests

Oct 23, 2018 8:00 AM ET
Blog

As we continue to experience record-setting fires each year, the Arbor Day Foundation knows that it will take a multi-faceted approach to restore the natural landscape that has been destroyed in communities and to build resiliency in forests near and far. In 1988, the Yellowstone Fires were the catalyst for the creation of the Arbor Day Foundation’s Reforestation program, which helped to restore 8,000 acres of severely burned land in the adjoining Gallatin National Forest. Those fires blackened 1.4 million acres, or 36 percent, of the park. It is still on record as the driest summer for the park.

Unfortunately, 30 years later, the unprecedented conditions that brought on those fires are becoming the norm, rather than the exception. Across the West, summers and winters are hotter, with snowpack melting earlier in the spring, causing fuel to dry out sooner, and periods of drought to be extended.

For this reason, we are excited to share that the Arbor Day Foundation has committed to planting an additional 2 million trees in California over the next four years because of multiple large-scale fires like the 2018 Carr Fire and Mendocino Complex Fires. Since 2014, we have planted nearly 3.2 million trees throughout California that provide clean air and water, prevent soil erosion, reduce flooding, and provide wildlife habitat. 

In addition to helping restore public and private-land forests, we also partner with companies to restore the green infrastructure in urban areas affected by wildfires. This crucial work improves air quality and water quality, curbs stormwater runoff, shades our cities, improves our health and above all, restores hope in communities directly affected by these natural disasters.

Our Community Tree Recovery program was established to do just that, by planting and distributing trees to homeowners in these areas. We have maintained 13 active Community Tree Recovery campaigns this past year alone, distributing over 5 million trees since the program’s inception in 2005.         

Human Impact to date, total from both the Mendocino Complex and Carr Fires:

Total acres burned: 688,774
Total structures destroyed: 1,884
Total lives lost: 8
Total people evacuated: 56,000

The time to plant is now. Join us today!

Sources

Top 20 Most Destructive California Wildfires. (2018, August 20).
Mendocino Complex. (2018, September 26).
Northern California wildfire turns deadly, forces “mass evacuations.” (2018, July 17).

Erin Mousel
Arbor Day Foundation
+1 (402) 473-9614