Arbor Day Foundation Celebrates 60 Millionth Tree Planting
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Sixty million trees have been planted in our nation's forests through public and private partnerships
Lincoln, Neb. June 21, 2016 — The Arbor Day Foundation, in partnership the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), is commemorating the planting of the 60 millionth tree in our nation's forests.
Since 1990, the Arbor Day Foundation has been replanting on state and national forest land through the Replanting our Forests program—an initiative to revitalize forests devastated by natural disaster.
To honor this milestone, a tree recognition ceremony was held in Washington D.C. on June 21 with special remarks by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, U.S. Forest Service Acting Associate Chief Dan Jirón and President of the Arbor Day Foundation Dan Lambe. Additionally, partners will receive a certificate of stewardship honoring their participation and a memorandum of commitment will be signed by the group at large to further commit to an additional 60 million trees.
"Achieving this landmark wouldn't be possible without the ongoing support of numerous public and private partnerships," said Dan Lambe of the Arbor Day Foundation. "We are revitalizing forests across the country devastated by wildfires, infestation and disease. We look forward to planting another 60 million trees in the years to come."
"Sixty million trees is much more than a numeric milestone," said U.S. Forest Service Acting Associate Chief Dan Jirón. "Arbor Day Foundation's partnership has connected generations of Americans to the importance of trees and the natural landscape by planting one tree at a time."
Record wildfire seasons in recent years have destroyed millions of trees in forests around the country. Many areas burned so severely that natural regeneration is not possible, making the need to replant necessary.
It is imperative that these forests are replanted within a reasonable time after a fire, insect infestation, disease or weather takes its toll. If there is too much delay, invasive species of trees and brush that are fire-prone could take over, wildlife will not have critical habitat and critical watershed areas will no longer be able to provide clean water.
As a result of the collaboration, more than 83 national forests have benefited from the Arbor Day Foundation's replanting efforts, bringing life back to forests devastated by disaster.
"The 60 million tree milestone celebrated today demonstrates how public-private partnerships can achieve meaningful results that leave our lands and communities healthier and more resilient to climate change," said Secretary Vilsack. "We will keep working with the Arbor Day Foundation and other partners to restore our National Forests and to support planting trees in rural and urban communities around the country."
About the Arbor Day Foundation
Founded in 1972, the Arbor Day Foundation has grown to become the largest nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees, with more than one million members, supporters, and valued partners. During the last 44 years, more than 250 million Arbor Day Foundation trees have been planted in neighborhoods, communities, cities and forests throughout the world.