Forest Service plants 55,000 tree seedlings to help regenerate growth on Summit County burn scars

The Buffalo Mountain Fire is pictured in June 2018. Local U.S. Forest Service officials recently helped replant trees in the area of wildfires and logging activity.
Summit Fire & EMS/Courtesy photo

The White River National Forest recently planted more than 55,000 tree seedlings in areas burned or logged over the past several years in Summit County. 

Contractors working for the Forest Service planted seedlings across four burn areas including the site of the 2017 Peak 2 fire, the 2018 Buffalo Mountain fire and the 2021 Ptarmigan Peak fire

About 27,000 lodgepole pine and Engelmann spruce seedlings were laid across 70 acres of Peak 2, 5,400 seedlings were spread across the 14 acre burn scar of Buffalo Mountain and 9,600 seedlings were planted on 20 acres worth of land on Ptarmigan Peak. 

Additionally, the contracted crews planted 13,000 seedlings in areas previously logged in the Ophir area. 

The 11-person crew planted about 9,000 seedlings a day, by hand. Each crew member planted around 800-950 seedlings each day, sometimes carrying the seedlings almost a mile. 

The pine and spruce seedlings were gathered from the USDA Forest Service Charles E. Bessey Nursery in Nebraska. 

The planting of the seedlings helps speed up the natural regeneration of the burned and logged areas. The project was funded through the National Forest Foundation Reforestation Program.

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