Ponderosa pine seedlings
At the Colorado State Forest Service Tree Nursery in Fort Collins, Colorado, 17,250 ponderosa pine tree seedlings are basking in the Colorado sun, growing strong as they await transport to their new home on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. In May of 2016, we will move the trees to the reservation, where they will be planted in areas that have been devastated by severe fires.
In 2015, we worked with the Oglala Sioux Tribe, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), and local tribe members to plant 10,000 ponderosa pines. This year, we will nearly double our reforestation efforts and also create nine part-time jobs in the process. In an area that has seen very poor management of forest resources, tree planting will create many positive outcomes for current and future generations.
Pinus ponderosa, commonly known as the ponderosa pine, is the most widely distributed pine tree in the United States. “Ponderosa” is the Latin word for “heavy, weighty, or significant” and refers to the impressive size and stature of the trees. It’s yellow to orange-red bark distinguishes it from other species. The ponderosa pine is of vital use to Native American tribes who have used its boughs, pitch and needles to produce medicine, its roots to create a blue dye, the needles for insulation, and boards for construction. The ponderosa pines we are planting were started from seed collected in South Dakota.
We are so thankful for your support of these important reforestation efforts on the tribal lands of the Oglala Sioux. Your support has helped to make this project become a reality. We hope you will consider making an additional donation so we can reach our fundraising goal!
Community reforestation at Pine Ridge