Freemont-Winema National Forests: Post-Fire Reforestation
2,298,301 acres | Located in south-central Oregon
The Freemont-Winema National Forests are located in “Oregon’s Outback.” The heavily timbered western portion of the forest is bordered by the crest of the Cascade Mountain Range and Crater Lake National Park, and stretches east into the Klamath River Basin, an area known for its year-round sunshine. Near the floor of the Basin, the forest opens to vast marshes and meadows associated with Upper Klamath Lake and the Williamson River. To the north and east, extensive stands of ponderosa and lodgepole pine grow on deep pumice and ash that blanketed the area during the eruption of Mt. Mazama (now Crater Lake) nearly 7,000 years ago. The eastern portion of the forest holds expansive views, dramatic cliffs, and desert solitude, offering outdoor enthusiasts the opportunity to discover nature in a rustic environment.
Need for Trees
The Toolbox Fire of 2002 burned 59,906 acres. This fire burned to the desert fringe, and ecologically, the forest needs to get these acres back to a tree-covered condition in part to prevent desert encroachment.
This is a high elevation area with a chronic seed shortage problem, and the forest is unlikely to return to a forested condition without planting, as natural regeneration is very unlikely.
Planting and Impact
This project will plant ponderosa pine on 1,000 acres of the forest.
The planted trees will prevent desert intrusion, contribute to the upland restoration of the watershed, reduce erosion, and provide wildlife habitat in burned-out areas.