The Arbor Day Foundation will use its vast network of donors to help BLM reforest federally-managed lands

Story by Richard Packer, BLM Communications

The Bureau of Land Management has partnered with the Arbor Day Foundation (the world’s largest membership nonprofit dedicated to planting trees) through a 5-year agreement to plant trees across federally-managed lands.

The Arbor Day Foundation has already supported the completion of two BLM planting projects in 2021. These efforts included reforestation following the 2015 Cornet-Windy Ridge Fire in Oregon and reforestation following disease and fire in Colorado. In 2022, the Foundation will support wildfire recovery planting in Roseburg, Oregon and continued planting in the Royal Gorge area in Colorado.

Contractors planting Douglas-fir and ponderosa pine seedlings within the Cornet-Windy Ridge Fire footprint.
A contractor crew of 11 planted 125,000 Douglas-fir and ponderosa pine seedlings within the Cornet-Windy Ridge Fire footprint during 2021 near Baker City, Oregon.

The BLM manages approximately 245 million acres of public lands, 58 million of which are forest and woodlands requiring ongoing reforestation needs and annual projects. BLM recently published a report for its salvage categorical exclusion documenting an average of 279,630 acres of BLM-managed forest and woodland were impacted by wildfire annually from 2009 to 2018.

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, almost 500 million Arbor Day Foundation trees have been planted in neighborhoods, communities, cities and forests throughout the world. Their vision is to lead toward a world where trees are used to solve issues critical to survival.

"We have been looking forward to this collaboration for many years, and we're thrilled to officially announce the partnership between the Arbor Day Foundation and the Bureau of Land Management," said Bradley Brandt, senior manager of Forest Restoration Programs at the Arbor Day Foundation. "We're grateful for the trust they have put into the Foundation, and we are looking forward to meeting the challenge of preserving and restoring these public lands so everyone can enjoy them for years to come."

A forest with a tree falling over.
Western spruce budworm caused severe mortality in this overly dense stand which necessitated salvage harvest to reduce wildfire fuels. The site was replanted in the 2021 Royal Gorge planting project on Hammond Peak west of Guffy, Colorado.

With a network of partners spanning the globe, the Arbor Day Foundation is uniquely positioned to bring corporate partners, members, and tree advocates together to fund large-scale tree planting efforts. By championing the need for trees and sharing stories with potential sponsors and donors, the Arbor Day Foundation can facilitate funding opportunities to make projects come to life.

As part of the agreement, BLM will provide reforestation project proposals, maps, schedules of costs, tree planting and site preparation services; assurance services are adequately completed for optimal survival and growth; procure trees of sufficient quality and quantity; and provide long-term management of reforested and afforested lands in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations.

A Ponderosa pine seedling next to a tree.
A Ponderosa pine seedling sits in a bare soil microsite next to a tree stump for shading. It was planted during the 2021 Royal Gorge planting project on Hammond Peak west of Guffy, Colorado.

Contributions are collected in accordance with section 307 of FLPMA (43 U.S.C. 1737(c)), which authorizes the BLM to accept contributions of money for the management of public lands. The Arbor Day Foundation funds will support reforestation on lands with forest mortality due to wildfire, insect, disease, and drought, including to restore forest cover, ecosystem services, and carbon sequestration and storage.

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