MADERA COUNTY (KFSN) --Crews spent the day planting baby seedlings to help with the tree mortality epidemic caused by bark beetles.
It was a beautiful sight to see. Baby pine trees bundled together being pulled out of bags and planted in the ground. An initiative taken to save our Valley forest.
For the last couple weeks the Sierra National Forest in Madera County has had several crews digging ground, planting hundreds of ponderosa and sugar pine trees in areas wiped out because of the bark beetle infestation caused by the drought.
"It's heart-wrenching to see, you know, what happened with the dead trees, but this is a small thing we can do on a camp ground basis or general forest," said Mike Nolen, Sierra National Forest Forester.
Nearly 38,000 trees will, in months, live in the entire Bass Lake district of 600 thousand acres. And Nolen said there's no need to worry about the two-year-old young plants getting attacked by bark beetles anytime soon.
"The beetle prefers larger trees. So hopefully, we'll get some good water years."
And the seedlings are even available to the public for folks wanting to plant them at home to help with the reforestation project in Madera County.
"We have people who have dead trees around their property and discovered they have neighbors behind. And hopefully they'll all grow. Give them some shade and help add some greenery back to their private property," said Philip Messerschmit, US Department of Agriculture.
And back to the forest, one tree patched in dirt at a time.
"The forest will grow back, this has happened before, whether there is a fire or drought the forest will grow back," said Nolen.
And if you're interested in planting seedlings on your property you can pick them up at the Bass Lake District Office in North Fork between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. during the week.