DENVER- Choose Outdoors, a nonprofit organization that promotes outdoor recreation on public lands, has announced plans to raise $25,000 to support restoration of forest areas damaged in the 2012 Waldo Canyon and High Park fires in Colorado.
Choose Outdoors is partnered with the U.S. Forest Service to coordinate and deliver the 2012 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree from Colorado to Washington, D.C. As part of the celebration, Choose Outdoors has created the Forest Restoration Challenge Fund to give back to two U.S. forests in need this holiday season.
The Waldo Canyon and High Park fires burned more than 100,000 acres of forest lands and severely damaged critical watershed areas. These watersheds provide vital habitat for fish and wildlife species and supply water to Colorado Springs and Fort Collins.
"The High Park and Waldo Canyon fires were two of the biggest wildfires in Colorado history, and we welcome Choose Outdoors' support of the restoration of the forests that were impacted by those fires," said Jerri Marr, supervisor of the Pike and San Isabel national forests. "We are thrilled that a Colorado forest is providing a gift to the nation and hope that it will assist in educating the country about forest health and restoration."
Through the 2012 Capitol Christmas Tree project, Choose Outdoors has created this fund to raise money to help restore the areas most damaged by last spring's Colorado wildfires. "All money raised will go to supporting work crews and acquiring materials needed to replant riparian vegetation, stabilize stream banks and replant trees lost in the fires," said Jeff Olson, president of Choose Outdoors.
The public can contribute to Choose Outdoors' Colorado Forest Restoration Challenge Fund by texting a tax deductible donation to (303) 502-5858. Interested individuals can also go online to www.capitolchristmastree2012.com to learn more.
For more information on the 2012 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree and to track the tree's route, visit www.CapitolChristmasTree2012.com.