LINCOLN, Nebraska (October 20, 2020) – The Arbor Day Foundation today announced the launch of its Wildfire Restoration Collaborative, a group of corporate and non-governmental partners dedicated to the long-term restoration of forestlands devastated by wildfires. The Foundation-led initiative connects private sector partners with high-impact tree planting projects aiming to restore critical ecosystems and build resilience against future fires. The announcement comes amidst another record-breaking wildfire season, with climate change exacerbating fire-causing conditions from California to Australia and the Arctic.
“Acting swiftly to restore damaged forests is important now more than ever,” said Dan Lambe, president of the Arbor Day Foundation. “We are witnessing increasingly visceral effects of climate change on people, wildlife, and our environment. Replanting forests not only mitigates the threat of future fires and ensures our continued access to clean air and water – it also builds resilience in the face of the growing climate crisis.”
Founding corporate partners include AT&T, Facebook, FedEx, HP, Mary Kay, PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble and Target. With an initial focus on California, these partners are supporting the restoration of 8,000 acres in the burn scars of the 2018 Carr and Camp Fires. Future projects are slated for Australia and Canada, as well as affected forests across the United States.
“Cross-sector partnerships help to elevate the awareness and urgency of wildfire recovery,” said Lambe. “We’re grateful for our network of highly committed partners who support this vital work.”
As climate change intensifies, so do natural disasters such as wildfires. Recent fires like those in California have burned longer and hotter than usual, destroying seed source and preventing healthy regeneration. But by determining essential details such as the species, quantity, and appropriate spacing and density of trees, reforestation experts can promote the long-term health of new trees and control the growth of grass and brush which act as kindling for future megafires.
“Restoration is a long-term process, from assessing damage to growing seedlings to planting them over the course of many years,” said Brad Brandt, Manager of Forest Restoration Programs, Arbor Day Foundation. “But this work must be done to ensure the improved health and longevity of forests around the globe.”
For more information about the Wildfire Restoration Collaborative, visit www.arborday.org/wildfire
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. Since 1972, more than 400 million Arbor Day Foundation trees have been planted in neighborhoods, communities, cities and forests throughout the world. Our vision is to help others understand and use trees as a solution to many of the global issues we face today, including air quality, water quality, climate change, deforestation, poverty and hunger.
As one of the world's largest operating conservation foundations, the Arbor Day Foundation, through its members, partners and programs, educates and engages stakeholders and communities across the globe to involve themselves in its mission of planting, nurturing and celebrating trees. More information is available at arborday.org.