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California 2023 - Tahoe Fires Restoration

Planting Location: Tamarack fire scar, Caldor fire scar and other locations near Lake Tahoe.

Project Description/Objective: This project specializes in restoring sugar pines and other white pines by identifying blister rust resistant trees and planting their progeny. Recently with the proliferation of fires in the American West, we have been planting other native species along with white pines in burn scars. We plant about 200 seedlings per hectare, a mix of native conifer seedlings. The seedlings are 1 or 2 years old. Professional crews use hoe dads, while volunteers use shovels for planting. Crews plant about half of the seedlings and volunteers the other half.

Ecological Benefits: This project will reforest over 200 of forest burned in wildfires. Reforestation of these burn scars is essential to prevent erosion and it also creates habitat for a number of species, especially where fires burned so hot that no natural regeneration occurs. One of the main goals of our plantings is white pine restoration as white pines have been decimated by a non-native invasive fungus called white pine blister rust. We will conduct sugar pine and western white pine plantings in forest openings to restore the population of these important native species, create early seral habitat and consequently increase the integrity and resiliency of the overall forest ecology. Sugar pines and western white pines are in the white pine family. We only plants white pine seedlings that are the offspring of blister rust resistant seed trees, so as to propagate trees that will survive the presence of the non-native invasive pathogen. The areas to be planted have been thinned due to overcrowding or disease. By planting white pines we will be restoring the diversity of the forest and increase its resilience to stressors such as drought, fire, disease and climate change.

Community Benefits:Each year, with the help of schoolchildren, local service clubs, businesses, and community members of all ages, we plant over 10,000 seedlings in and around the Tahoe Basin. We are committed to involving community members of all ages, races, income levels and physical ability in our on-the-ground forest stewardship activities. We believe that educating and involving our community in maintaining the health, diversity and beauty our forests will help sustain our watershed, environment, community and local economy now and in the future. We also hire professional crews that are usually involved in fuel reduction, so this adds variety to their work.

Types of Trees: Sugar pine (Pinus Lambertiana), Sugar pine (Pinus Lambertiana), Western white pine (Pinus Monticola), Incense cedar (Calocedrus decurrens), White fir (Abies Concolor)

Number of Trees Donated by Noble Oak: 14,977

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