Teen Leads Effort to Restore Forest Fire Damage

January 26, 2009 11:54:02 PM PST
It's been six months since the Telegraph Fire threatened the town of Mariposa and blackened 30 thousand of acres of surrounding forest land. Now an effort to bring that forest land back is being lead by a 14 year old girl.Sydnie Edwards has learned a lot about Lodge Pole Pine Seedlings she and her family and friends have planted hundreds in the past few days. They are trying to restore land burned by a devastating forest fire last summer. "And after the fire here I thought that it would be really good to help replenish the environment and the trees that were burnt." She said.

Sydnie launched the planting effort for her 4-H project. It's part of a program to plant one million trees nationwide. She's enlisted family members, neighbors and classmates in doing the work. Trees are being planted on private land, and the landowners like Dennis Cole are grateful."I really appreciate that part. Yesterday they planted at our property they planted two hundred trees and there were about 12 of them. It was a good effort." He said.

Bill Long has a nursery and has donated one thousand seedlings to help get the project going. "I think that if we don't do it, it will never get done. Because the older trees no longer are here there won't be any natural plant and the government's not gonna give us the trees for free, so we've got to do it." He said.

The little trees will help stop erosion, and eventually, Sydnie hopes it will bring the forest back.

"This place was so beautiful before it was burned down and planting the trees makes me feel really great that I'm helping out with it." She said.

Sydnie and her friends say they will continue planting trees through February. They are hoping for financial donations and volunteers from the community to help.

Sydnie can be reached at Emeraldtrees@yahoo.com

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