Plantings to Help Restore Watersheds and Natural Habitats Effected by Fires
Submitted by: Arbor Day Foundation
Posted: Mar 28, 2017 – 05:00 AM EST
LINCOLN, Neb. , Mar. 28 /CSRwire/ - The Arbor Day Foundation and Cabela’s Outdoor Fund have entered the second year of a four-year partnership to replant in forests devastated by natural disaster. The reforestation efforts, which include the planting of 200,000 trees, are critical to preserving wildlife habitat. The partnership planted 50,000 trees in 2016 and will continue to plant an additional 50,000 trees every year for the remaining three.
This year the trees will be planted in Pike National Forest (Colorado), Upper Altamaha (Georgia), Paul Van Booven Wildlife Management Area (Kentucky) and Josephine County Forest (Oregon).
Record wildfire seasons in recent years have destroyed millions of trees in forests around the country. Many areas burned so severely that natural regeneration is not possible, making the need to replant necessary. Insect infestations, disease and weather events also destroy forests.
The Pike National Forest and Josephine County Forest plantings will further reforest areas devastated by fire and improve water quality in both locations. In Georgia, the plantings in Upper Altamaha will help to restore the habitat of the gopher tortoise as well as 120 other rare plant and animal species including the eastern indigo snake, Bachman sparrows and the Bald Eagle. The Paul Van Booven Wildlife Management in Kentucky is part of the Appalachian region and will concentrate on preserving fresh water resources in hunting areas known for turkey, deer and limited (controlled) Elk.
It is imperative that these forests are replanted within a reasonable time after a fire, insect infestation, disease or weather event takes its toll. If there is too much delay, invasive species of trees and brush that are fire-prone could take over, wildlife will not have critical habitat, and critical watershed areas will no longer be able to provide clean water.
“Continuing our relationship with the Arbor Day Foundation on these reforestation efforts is a priority for Cabela’s Outdoor Fund,” said Scott Wanetka, vice president of Cabela’s Outdoor Fund. “These efforts will have a long-lasting and positive impact on wildlife, wildlife habitat and outdoor enthusiasts across the country.”
The results of the replanting efforts will have a lasting impact to the environment. For example, over the next 40 years the new trees planted in Upper Altamaha intercept more than one million gallons of rainfall and mitigate 427 tons of air pollution. Additionally, all of the plantings (Colorado, Kentucky, Oregon and Upper Altamaha) will provide critical habitat and cover for big game.
"We’re grateful to Cabela’s Outdoor Fund for becoming a steward of our nation's forests," said Dan Lambe, Arbor Day Foundation president. "Our forests are part of the long and important legacy of the people and the land of our country. Thanks to the long-term commitment of Cabela’s Outdoor Fund, thousands of trees will be planted to help clean the air, protect water resources, and restore habitat and beauty to forests that have suffered devastation."
Efforts in 2016 focused on the replanting efforts in Choccolocco State Forest in Alabama, Nebraska National Forest, Malheur National Forest in Oregon, and Bayfield County Forest in Wisconsin.
About the Arbor Day Foundation
Founded in 1972, the Arbor Day Foundation has grown to become the largest nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees, with more than one million members, supporters, and valued partners. During the last 44 years, more than 250 million Arbor Day Foundation trees have been planted in neighborhoods, communities, cities and forests throughout the world.
About the Cabela’s Outdoor Fund
Cabela’s Outdoor Fund (COF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to efforts that promote and protect hunting, shooting sports, trapping, fishing, camping and conservation. This fund is possible through donations from generous Cabela’s customers who choose to “round up” their purchases to the nearest dollar at Cabela’s stores. The Cabela’s Outdoor Fund contributes to other like-minded organizations in communities across the country working to make the great outdoors even better.
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For more from this organization:Arbor Day Foundation