Bass Lake Ranger District Offers Free Sugar Pine Seedlings to Residents

Bass Lake. Photo: FILE/KMJ

North Fork, CA, April 2, 2024 — The Bass Lake Ranger District (BLRD) is offering sugar pine seedlings to local residents with the launch of its ambitious 2024 spring reforestation campaign. The aim, to revitalize landscapes affected by the 2014 French and 2020 Creek Fires. In a significant effort, throughout the month of April, contract crews will be planting 750 acres equaling approximately 165,000 seedlings, with an average density of 200 to 260 seedlings per acre. The trees being planted were grown at the Placerville nursery.

In a call to action for community involvement, the BLRD invites North Fork/Oakhurst and Mariposa area residents to actively participate in the reforestation effort, providing the opportunity to adopt and plant ponderosa pine seedlings on their private property. The initiative allows residents to obtain 5 to 20 bare root one-year-old ponderosa pine seedlings – a generous offering due to surplus from the District’s 2023 program.

“It’s incredibly important work. Ttree planting plays an essential role in restoring our burned ecosystems.” said Dan Tune, District Ranger on the Bass Lake Ranger District.

To support the success of the new seedlings the District will provide guidelines for transporting and planting. Seedlings should be kept cool and transported in an ice chest with the roots covered with a moist towel and planted the same day, whenever possible. Following these instructions will help keep the seedlings in prime condition by minimizing moisture and preventing heat stress.

These seedlings are the product of dedicated cultivation from specially selected seeds by the Forest Service, grown at Forest Service nurseries. Highlighting the program’s future-forward approach, the sugar pine seedlings provided are resistant to blister rust and grown as one-year-old containerized stock cultivated in greenhouses.

Local residents are encouraged to visit the Bass Lake Ranger District Office in North Fork, located at 57003 Road 225, office at 559-877-2218 to learn more about the adoption process and how to get involved. The North Fork office is open Monday through Friday, 8 am to 4:30 pm.

Forest Service staff are eager to assist anyone interested in making a significant environmental impact.

Listen to the report by KMJ’s Liz Kern.