Volunteer Wildfire Recovery Projects Now Available

Through generous support from National Forest Foundation, Rose Foundation, and Fund for Rural Equity, two tree plantings have been schduled on May 20-21 and June 3-4, 2017. Volunteers are needed to plant 3,000 seedlings in two events in the Cedar Wildfire Burn Area located near  Portuguese Pass and Sugarloaf, which in 2016, burned 30,000 acres in the Sequoia National Forest. A pretty ambitious task!

For both planting events, we will meet at CHMA at 466 East Putnam Ave 93267 at 8.30 a.m. for a 9 a.m. departure on Saturday May 13th and June 3rd. Transport is available for those plsnning to camp over.

Travel time is an hour from Porterville and requires caravanning with WildPlaces unless participants have a very good understanding of the area. The work will be to plant 5 species of coniferous bareroot-seedlings to restore destroyed "seed trees" which are critical for forest recovery... no seeds = no forest.

The terrain and work are moderate to  difficult and requires proper clothing and gear, reasonable physical fitness, and basic camping skills. Prior planting experience is not required. WildPlaces can provide gear if needed. We will car camp on a primitive site (no water, no bathrooms) at the location of the wildfire Saturday night. If you cannot stay the night- you are very welcomed to participate; however, we cannot provide your transportation, as the WildPlaces staff and crew will stay...

While natural processes play a major role in forest fire recovery, certain actions to protect California watersheds can be taken to speed the recovery of resource and recreation values by reducing sediment and soil erosion, re-establishing native plant species and seed trees, and repair recreation trails. Planting seedlings that will one day become the seed source for the whole forest is the practice we will undertake.

Public understanding and active participation in these processes is fundamental for land managers to more successfully restore critical habitat on public lands.

 

Signifigant Impact 

The Sequoia National Forest Wildfire Recovery Project will have significant impact in reaching these goals, and WildPlaces has the experience, partnerships, and commitment to ensure the project reaches its fullest potential. 

Since 2001, WildPlaces has implemented dozens of public and private land projects, enjoyed the participation of thousands of volunteers, and experienced a 100% safety record.  WP has also enjoyed 9 years of partnership with National Forest Foundation with continuing support this year from two of NFF's programs:  the Community Capacity and the Land Stewardship Programs, which will reciprocally enhance this proposal. Support of this proposal will result in more restored habitat, more ecosystem-based jobs created through the proposed Sequoia Roots Corp. 

 

Need

While natural processes play a major role in forest fire recovery, certain actions to protect California watersheds can be taken to speed the recovery of resource and recreation values by reducing sediment and soil erosion, re-establishing native plant species and seed trees, and repair recreation trails. Public understanding and active participation in these processes is fundamental for land managers to more successfully restore critical habitat on public lands.

According to SNF resource managers and the Rough PostFire BAER, suppression cuts and trail repair is the first phase of recovery efforts and needed to return the affected area to pre-fire conditions. Controlling erosion and run-off from fire suppression containment lines and damaged recreation trails are high priorities for the Forest Service to ensure healthy watersheds. Only intact and well - designed and well-mantain trails function both as vital recreation components and are able to minimize erosion, which will result from even slight alterations from design. In burn areas, the problem increases in multple magnitudes. Exisiting trails have surely been damaged leading to erosion.  while suppresion containment lines created by firefighter to fight the fire follow an enterly different design purpose   Additionally, re-vegetation is a high priority. Most of these fires burned intensely enough to destroy entire stands of conifers, leaving no contiguous stands or seed trees for natural recovery in some areasJeffery, Sugar, Ponderosa pines and Incense cedar seedlings are to be planted in the thousands. The larger majority of trees will be contracted to fire recovery industries while a portion will be planted by volunteers.

WildPlaces has engaged with the Western Divide and Hume Lake Ranger Districts in planning to include WildPlaces as part of tree planting and trail repair and to utilize community-based planting crews as an important part of tree planting for cost-benefit in this expensive endeavor.

The Other Need:

A one-to-one cash match of funds is required in order for WildPlaces to access the awarded dollars. In other words, your $10 donation becomes $20 or a $100 donation becomes $200 and  a $1,000 donation (gasp!)  becomes $4,000. We know you are serious about land and river protection (you've read this much!), so make a finacial investment in our work as well.  This project is an expensive proposition. If our funders don't see community investment in volunteers and dollars, they are less likely to want to invest in our community. Donate and show them the love!

Sequoia Roots Restoration Corp

This project also will create the Sequoia Roots Restoration Corp, a trained crew of paid young men and women to implement on-the-ground conservation, stewardship and restoration work. With unemployment amongst young people in the southern San Joaquin Valley at over 20%, jobs are of paramount concern, without which youth will continue to drop out of school, join gangs, be incarcerated, and fall to the  limitations of teen pregnancy. All of these metrics of poverty exist in the regions from which WildPlaces will recruit both volunteers and paid members of the Sequoia Roots Corp.