Full article available by Ken Magri at Sacramento News & Review
As sunshine returns to the Sierra Nevada and the season’s record snowfall slowly melts away, volunteers help plant sugar pine seeds within the Caldor Fire burn scar along Highway 50.
Burrowing down into a foot of snow until reaching topsoil, each seed is covered up and its location marked for watering later in the season. The remaining snow will keep the seeds alive long enough to become seedlings, starting their new lives in a part of the forest that needs more conifers. The seeds can be purchased from organizations like the South Lake Tahoe-based Sugar Pine Foundation, ensuring they are for trees suitable to the area.
The evergreen tree canopy in the Sierra Nevada took a mighty hit during the 2021 Caldor Fire. In a burn scar measuring 222,000 acres across three counties, about 82,000 acres worth of trees were lost, according to Global Forest Watch. Without tree replanting efforts, the Caldor Fire burn scar could transition from forest into high chaparral and scrubland with smaller bushes and shrubs.