SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) --- A grant of nearly $1 million from the nonprofit American Forests will help the Oregon Department of Forestry plant more than 2 million seedlings on the Santiam State Forest as part of recovery efforts following 2020’s destructive Labor Day fires, officials said Tuesday.
The Labor Day fires of 2020 burned more than a million acres across Oregon, including more than 16,000 acres of the Santiam State Forest. Typical annual replanting on the Santiam State Forest is about 250,000 seedlings. ODF estimates it will take up to 4 million seedlings to fully replant and restore the Santiam.
“With climate-fueled wildfires ravaging public lands in Oregon and across the West, it is vital that we quickly restore these treasured landscapes with climate-resilient forests, using science to create the right forest composition and structure,” said Jad Daley, president and CEO of American Forests, “As Oregon shows the way by boldly stepping into this challenge on the Santiam and other state forests, American Forests is proud to pitch in with this new partnership, one of the largest in our history.”
“This generous gift enhances ODF’s capacity to restore the Santiam to a healthy, resilient, working public forest for the people of Oregon,” ODF State Forests Division Chief Liz Dent said. “We are grateful to American Forests for this historic investment in Oregon’s public lands.”
About the Santiam State Forest: The Santiam State Forest is 47,481 acres in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains about 30 minutes east of Salem, and is popular for camping, hiking, hunting and other outdoor activities. The Oregon Department of Forestry manages approximately 763,000 acres. This includes the Tillamook, Clatsop and Santiam state forests in western Oregon as well as the Sun Pass and Gilchrist state forests in Klamath County. Oregon state forests are managed to provide social, economic, and environmental benefits to all Oregonians.
More information on the forest status and restoration efforts at: https://www.oregon.gov/odf/recreation/Pages/santiam-state-forest.aspx
About American Forests: American Forests is the first national non-profit conservation organization created in the US. Since its founding in 1875, the organization has been the pathfinders for the forest conservation movement. Its mission is to create healthy and resilient forests, from cities to wilderness, that deliver essential benefits for climate, people, water and wildlife. The organization advances its mission through forestry innovation, place-based partnerships to plant and restore forests, and movement building. Since 1990, American Forests has helped to plant over 65 million trees in all 50 states, resulting in cleaner air and drinking water, restored habitat for wildlife and fish, and the removal of millions of tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.