Nebraska City, Neb. (Dec. 11, 2009) – The Alaska Division of Forestry has partnered with the Arbor Day Foundation to plant 160,000 trees that will contribute to the reforestation of the Tanana Valley State Forest in Alaska.
The 160,000 trees will help restore 410 acres that were destroyed in interior Alaska where devastating wildfires burned more than 11 million acres in 2004 and 2005. White spruce trees were planted during the summer of 2009 to help protect the Tanana River watershed and also provide vital habitat for the many species that call this area home. The Arbor Day Foundation is the largest nonprofit tree-planting organization in the United States with nearly one million members. The Foundation plants and distributes more than 10 million trees each year.
"Thanks to the generosity of our members and great partners and friends, we are able to work with the Alaska Division of Forestry on this extensive tree-planting project in Tanana Valley State Forest," said Dan Lambe, vice president of programs for the Arbor Day Foundation. "These trees will provide vital habitat for wildlife, and aid in the reparation of the destruction caused by wildfires."
The Tanana Valley State Forest is located in East Central Alaska. This forest encompasses 1.81 million acres and extends over 250 miles from the Canadian border to Manley Hot Springs. The combination of mountains, rivers, and vegetation provides a magnificent habitat for wildlife, and supports many recreational opportunities for visitors.
"Planting in remote areas that are difficult to access is challenging and expensive," said Chris Maisch, Alaska State Forester. "This generous grant will return areas to forest decades sooner than would have happened through the process of natural regeneration. The trees will help sustain a healthy watershed and forest that can support abundant wildlife, offer recreational opportunities, store tremendous amounts of carbon over their lifespan, and provide locally grown forest products for future generations."
Since 1989, the Arbor Day Foundation has worked with the U.S. Forest Service to plant trees in America's forests. Since then, the Foundation has helped to plant more than 18 million trees in national forests that have been devastated by wildfire, insects and disease.
About the Arbor Day Foundation: The Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit conservation organization of nearly one million members, with a mission to inspire people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees. More information on the Foundation and its programs can be found at arborday.org.