Sierra Nevada Alliance leads reforestation training in Placerville

On May 8-11, 2023, Sierra Nevada Alliance hosted a Tree Planting and Inspection Training event. During this time, Sierra Corps Forestry Fellows, Alliance Staff, and interested reforestation professionals gathered in Placerville and at the King Fire burn scar for training. This reforestation effort was a wonderful example of partnership and collaboration between the Alliance, American Forests, the US Forest Service, and funding from the California Department of Forestry and Fire (CAL FIRE) that showcased dedication and commitment to restoring our forests.

During the event, attendees oversaw and inspected the planting of nearly 48,000 seedlings and planted approximately 650-700 trees as a group. This training event contributed to this year’s reforestation efforts on the Eldorado National Forest, encompassing planting of approximately 600,000 seedlings on roughly 2,500 acres.

While ensuring high-quality climate-smart reforestation on almost 200 acres in the scar of the King Fire, the training also helped raise the quality of professional attention on all forest health projects in the Sierra. The Sierra Corps Forestry Fellows, alongside a Sierra Nevada AmeriCorps Partnership (SNAP) member, a CAL FIRE L.A. Moran Reforestation Center nursery technician, and Alliance staff collectively dedicated 215 hours to expanding their knowledge of on-the-ground reforestation and nursery operations.

As part of the training event, attendees visited the Placerville Nursery in the Eldorado National Forest. Meredith Sierra, a Sierra Corps Fellow with American Forests, works as the US Forest Service Region 5 Cone Corps Nursery Technician with a goal to increase the pace and scale of reforestation in the face of unprecedented wildfire and forest disturbance.

The Placerville Nursery is the only federal seedling nursery in California providing millions of seedlings to 18 National Forests in the Pacific Southwest Region, California’s Bureau of Land Management lands, California’s National Parks Service lands, and research institutions such as the Pacific Southwest Research Station. When orders are placed for seeds, they are carefully selected to match the elevations and climate of the respective planting areas. As the Nursery Technician, Meredith is coordinating efforts to grow more than four million trees this year. She fills a vital role in regional reforestation efforts – a gap that may not be met if it weren’t for our Forestry Fellowship program.

This training event provided invaluable insights into nursery processes, reforestation strategies, and tree-planting contract inspections. Our team gained practical knowledge and skills in forest restoration by sharing information and experiences. The success of this event reinforces our collective commitment to reforestation efforts and underscores the vital role they play in safeguarding and revitalizing California’s forests.

Funding for the Sierra Corps Forestry Fellowship program is provided by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection’s Business and Workforce Development Grants. We are grateful for CALFIRE’s support and look forward to organizing more reforestation and training events.

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