The Urgent Need to Replant
Record wildfire seasons in recent years have destroyed millions of trees in forests around the country. Many areas have been burned so severely that natural regeneration is not possible, making replanting necessary.
Unfortunately, much of the U.S. Forest Service budget has been diverted to simply fighting these massive fires, with much less funding left for replanting. This has left the Forest Service with a backlog of more than one million acres of forest land in need of replanting.* And each year—with every wildfire, storm or insect epidemic—the backlog steadily increases.
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.
*Designated National Wilderness areas and areas that may regenerate naturally are not included in this backlog.