Wallowa–Whitman National Forest: Post–Fire Reforestation
2.4 million acres | Located in northeastern Oregon and western Idaho
The Wallowa-Whitman National Forest includes many landscapes, from alpine meadows and desert-like environments, to lakes, rustic homesteads and old mining sites. The Hells Canyon All-American Road Scenic Byway is a five-hour scenic tour that provides a beautiful view of the canyon country at the Hells Canyon Overlook. Over 350 species of wildlife can be found in the Forest, including mule deer, Rocky Mountain Bighorn sheep, elk, mountain goats, cougars, and bald eagle. Recreation includes skiing, fishing and swimming in the Forest's many lakes, rivers, streams and reservoirs, and backpacking on over 2,000 miles of varied hiking trails.
Need for Trees
The Monument Fire burned approximately 4,100 acres in the forest, with approximately 80% of the burned area experiencing high to moderate fire severity across the forested uplands and the streamside and riparian wetlands. Natural regeneration of the native species of ponderosa pine and western larch will take decades, with some areas never reforesting due to the high levels of tree mortality and lack of seed source.
Planting and Impact
This reforestation project will plant 100,000 ponderosa pine and western larch in April of 2007. The planting will help restore the forests native vegetation and speed up development of habitat for wildlife species that depend on old-growth forest. The planting will also restore streamside and riparian wetlands, improving stream bank stability to benefit fish and wildlife habitat, water quality, and aesthetic appeal.