Planting Project: California
California is facing a deforestation crisis. 5 years of severe drought and widespread beetle infestation have left a damaging mark on the state’s arborous environment.
Simply put, the forests of California are currently on the list of the top 10 most endangered forests.
And research shows recent climate change is making California’s drought situation 20% worse.
But that’s not all. Record-breaking fires have left a wake of destruction the size of Delaware, leaving 1,300,000 acres scorched and lifeless.
The final effect? 129 million trees must be replanted to restore California’s natural beauty. But the trees in California go so much further than providing a taste of natural beauty: they clean the air and water, they contribute to recreation activities and sustainable commerce, they provide habitat for numerous species along the west part of the United States.
A combination of low rainfall and increasing temperatures resulted in a widespread California drought that lasted from 2012 to 2016. As a result, tree mortality increased dramatically as severe wildfires consumed diverse and precious woodland ecosystems.
There has been a 65% increase in dead trees across the state’s otherwise lush forest ecosystem—to the tune of 66 million trees wiped out in less than a decade. Even worse, this increase in dead trees only further contributes to the wildfire epidemic, causing even more trees to be killed off by natural disaster and deforestation.
A clear metric of the terrible environmental changes, the Forest Service now spends over half of its budget attempting to stop the destruction of trees caused by fires. 10 years ago it was less than 20%.
That is a scary trend.
One thing is clear: California needs active tree planting efforts for restoration to have any chance of taking place successfully.
In addition to restoring and revitalizing scorched lands, our project in California is dedicated to providing new life for native species that have become endangered by the recent dramatic increase in deforestation. The Sugar Pine is just one example.
The concrete benefits of our tree planting in California are obvious:
- New trees help to suppress and prevent the spread of wildfires as well as capture smoke and other harmful air pollutants released into the atmosphere
- Over 65% of California water comes from mountainous forests—ensuring the survival of these trees is critical for the livelihood of California’s habitat, indigenous species of plants and animals, and human population
- Planting new trees helps to improve the health of existing forests, especially when a focus is placed on planting and restoring species that have become endangered
By supporting tree planting efforts in the golden state, 8 billion trees hopes to begin rehabilitating California’s forests so that the state’s precious habitats can be restored.
We currently partner with One Tree Planted for our California project.