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American Forests Conservation Spotlight: Tahoe National Forest
Posted on June 10, 2016

View of Sierra Valley near Sierraville. credit: kenlund via Flickr

Each month we’ve been highlighting specific conservation projects we’ve backed with American Forests that focus on reforestation and recovery efforts as part of our greater One Tree Initiative. We’ve profiled efforts in Southern California to Florida and last month we shined a spotlight on a longleaf pine recovery effort in Alabama. But this month, as another long, hot summer approaches in the Sierra, our focus is on an effort in the Tahoe National Forest to reforest areas burned by a 2014 wildfire. While all the American Forests projects are worthy, this effort resonates even more deeply with Eddie Bauer guide Lel Tone, who calls the Tahoe area home. —LYA Editor

Coyotes live in dens in open woodlands, meadows and plateaus where it is easy to hunt for small rodents at night. Credit: Chuck Fazio, American Forests Artist-in-Residence

Location: Sierraville Ranger District, Tahoe National Forest, California

The long history of human impacts in the Sierra Nevada mountains, combined with a recent history of wildfires and parasitic species damage, make ecosystem restoration projects a high priority for the National Forest Service in the Tahoe National Forest. American Forests is working with local partners to plant 13,340 mixed conifer seedlings over 83 acres of the Tahoe National Forest. Thirteen of those acres are within an area burned by lightning fire in 2014. The remaining 70 acres target ecosystem restoration of areas affected by logging harvests and wildfire suppression.

Black bear are the only type of bear in California and can live to be over 30 years of age.

This project targets 83 acres within TNF for replanting with a mixed profile of over 13,000 conifer seedlings. The plantings include sugar pine seedlings developed for resistance to white pine blister rust, as well as incense cedar, ponderosa and Jeffery pine, and Douglas fir. This particular mixture of species not only introduces resistance to the blister rust, but also includes species that will not be affected by the parasitic dwarf mistletoe that is present in neighboring stands.

In the past, railroad logging, fire suppression strategies, and selective harvesting of tree groups have altered the traditional balance of tree species in the area. This has left many areas more susceptible to disease and the parasitic mistletoe. Strategic replanting of a mix of native conifers allows the Forest Service to rebuild the species diversity of the TNF as a brake against these parasitic threats.

Tahoe National Forest covers a total area of 871,495 acres in California, northwest of Lake Tahoe. Credit: Yinghai Lu

Since partnering with the national nonprofit conservation organization 20 years ago, Eddie Bauer has helped plant more than 6.5 million trees. With the launch of The One Tree Initiative, Eddie Bauer pledges its continued support of American Forests’ mission to protect, restore and conserve threatened forest. Donate to the cause at AmericanForests.org.

Author: - Friday, June 10th, 2016
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