Custer National Forest: Post–Fire Reforestation
1.3 million acres | Located in south-central and southeastern Montana and northwestern South Dakota
The Custer National Forest is the most ecologically diverse forest in the Northern Region, reaching from the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness near Red Lodge, Montana to the grasslands of South Dakota. 345,599 acres of the forest are designated Wilderness Areas. This forest is well known for lake and stream fishing and provides habitat for mountain goats, big horn sheep, elk, mule and white-tail deer, black bear, cougar, and moose.
Need for Trees
The Kraft Springs Fire burned 65,551 acres, with 70% of the acreage being a re-burn of the previous Brewer Fire, which damaged 58,000 acres. More than half of the landscape in this fire experienced a high intensity burn. As a result of these wildfires, forested habitat has been reduced by 69% on this landscape. Additional fires in recent years have added to the need for replanting projects in this forest.
Planting and Impact
This project will plant 257,650 Ponderosa Pine seedlings in 2007. This reforestation project will help speed recovery of the forested habitat that would otherwise take many decades.