Lake Tahoe students help Angora fire reforestation
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE ” Students from Lake Tahoe Environmental Science Magnet School today planted hundreds of native trees on U.S. Forest Service land burned in the 2007 Angora fire, signaling the beginning of the agency’s reforestation efforts.
“We heard loud and clear from the local community that they wanted to play a part in restoring the Angora Fire area, “said Terri Marceron, Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit Forest Supervisor, “This project not only begins the reforestation of National Forest System lands, it will help instill in our local youth a sense of stewardship for their urban forest.”
The Nevada Tahoe Conservation District and the Tahoe Resource Conservation District worked with the Forest Service to develop the Angora Fire Urban Forest Stewardship Project and obtain funding. The National Forest Foundation, Project Learning Tree, and GreenWorks provided grants for the program, which will result in the planting of more than 9,000 seedlings. The planting sites are on Forest Service lots located within the community, as well as adjacent forest lands.
Much of the planting will occur with the help of more than 700 local schoolchildren. Before heading to their outdoor classroom to plant trees, the children, as well as other volunteers, learn basic tree planting techniques, plant ecology and plant identification. The U.S. Forest Service nursery near Placerville supplied the Jeffrey pine, sugar pine, incense cedar and red fir seedlings, which will grow about a foot each year.
NTCD continues to seek volunteers for a community planting day, scheduled for May 2. Space is limited, so those interested should contact Eric Winford at NTCD, (775) 586-1610, ext. 26, to learn more and sign up. The partners are also seeking volunteers to help over the next several years by removing competing vegetation and monitoring the survival of the young trees.
“While NTCD and TRCD provided the coordination for this project, the motivation really comes from the community,” said Doug Martin, NTCD district manager. “The community wants healthy forests, and healthy forests are important to both erosion control and fire defensible space.”
The Angora fire was ignited by an illegal campfire on June 24, 2007. The fire destroyed more than 250 structures and burned 3,100 acres, including 2,736 acres of National Forest System lands. The Forest Service completed emergency stabilization of the area within one year of the fire and removal of hazard trees along roads and trails is continuing. A proposed plan for long-term restoration calls for reducing fuels near neighborhoods, reforestation, stream channel and wetland restoration and road and trail system redesign.
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