Rincon Tree Planting 2009


While it is politically correct these days to talk about saving our environment, recently thirty three volunteers rolled up their sleeves to do something about it at the Stewards of the Sequoia Tree Planting Trail Appreciation Day as part of Living Green in Kern River Valley. They came in jeeps on dirt bikes and in SUV’s down the rough 4x4 road near Rincon Camp to help speed reforestation after the McNally Wildfire incinerated 150,000 acres.
 The weather was perfect as Sequoia National Forest Wildlife Specialist Wendy Rannalf explained how to plant tree seedlings. Volunteers worked in teams often made up of entire families to lovingly dig, plant and then haul water to the three hundred oak, willow and cottonwood seedlings.
 Many people blame the McNally wildfire on the 
camper who let her hot dog fire get out of control. However had the campfire not started the wildfire it would have been lightening. Like most forests across the West the Sequoia Forest is overgrown from 75 years of fire suppression combined with 30 years of environmental lawsuits prohibiting management. It is lawsuits promoting neglect which cause our Forests to become so overgrown that anything will cause them to burn in ever larger unnatural wildfires.
 As volunteers planted trees along the Sherman Pass Jeep Road they cleared over 30 blown down trees blocking the trail.
This was not a one time event. Participating organizations such as Bakersfield Trailblazer Jeep Club, Southern Sierra Fat Tire Association and Stewards of the Sequoia have adopted eighteen motorized trails. They perform thousands of hours of work each year clearing blow downs, installing water bars to reduce erosion and brushing trails so everyone can enjoy them.
 Many thanks to the Sequoia National Forest and Assistant Recreation Manager Bob Frenes for partnering with volunteers for tree planting and trail maintenance projects like these. Why not join in the fun? You can learn more about Stewards of the Sequoia and other projects at http://stewardsofthesequoia.org/events-schedule.html or contact the Sequoia Forest Service at 760 379-5646.