We were asked to pass on this information from the National Forest Service about volunteer efforts to restore the trees in the forest. The graphics are a letter from Supervisor Jody Noiron (yeah, we know, settle down over there!), and information on the Plant a Tree program, after the jump.
Much of our response to volunteers is expressed in an Oct. 2009 letter from Forest Supervisor Jody Noiron, which is attached. One key message in Jody's letter is that restoration activities within the burn area, such as trail restoration, are delayed until spring 2010, due to safety considerations and the need to let the area have a period of time to stabilize. The letter encourages volunteers to get involved in taking care of other parts of the Angeles outside of the burn area that will be receiving heavier recreation use -- which equates to more trash pickup, restroom cleaning, etc.
FYI, tree planting will not begin in earnest until spring 2011. Overall, we will need to replant 11,469 acres, which will take 3.4 million seedlings. We have begun to grow 1.2 million seedlings, and will plant approximately 4,284 acres in 2011. The remaining acreage will be planted in 2012 and 2013. Most of this acreage is on very steep slopes and will be planted by contractors, since it would not be suitable or safe for volunteer planters.BUT we will use volunteers for some of the planting, and TreePeople has offered to coordinate that effort.
We are very close to finalizing a formal partnership with them, similar to the agreement they have with the San Bernardino National Forest to coordinate their treeplanting volunteers. In the meantime, people who want to get trained up for treeplanting right away can contact TreePeople via their website (http://www.treepeople.org/
forest-aid ) and get involved in volunteer planting and training activities on the San Bernardino NF in 2010. That way, they will be ready to hit the ground on the Angeles in spring 2011, when we are ready to plant.
Besides reforestation, many of the people who contact us about volunteering are interested in trail restoration. Our plan is to channel these people to our existing trail-maintenance volunteer groups, such as the San Gabriel Mountains Trailbuilders. We will offer trail mtce training workshops in late January or February, to train beginners on the basics. Then the new volunteers will be ready to go to work later in the spring.
Our plan is to revamp our volunteer web page (http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/
angeles/volunteering/) so that it includes a calendar of scheduled events, contacts, etc. That way, anyone who wants to volunteer could immediately get plugged in. However, that system is not in place yet. What people CAN do is go to that site and fill out a volunteer application. We then add their names to our database, and can keep them informed regarding volunteer opportunities.
FINALLY, another thing we talked about is how we are handling donations of cash for reforestation through the Plant-A-Tree program. These donations would/could be directly put toward the costs of the contract planting. At $.30/seedling, we are looking at over a million dollars to grow and plant enough trees to reforest the entire 11,469 acres. Attached is more information about that program. Many people who can't volunteer for one reason or another may be glad to hear about this opportunity.
I hope this information will be helpful to you.
Angeles National Forest