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Volunteers begin replanting trees for private land owner affected by Camp Fire

CONCOW — A group of 30 volunteers began replanting trees Saturday near Concow for a private land owner whose land was burned in the Camp Fire.
The group was lead by Thad Walker with the Butte County Conservation Resource District and Carrie Wendt with Point Blue Conservation Science. One Tree Planted, a nonprofit based in Vermont, also was part of the project.
“We’re working with One Tree Planted; they’re kind of our partner. They’re an international organization that focuses on reforestation,” Walker said. “They kind of contacted us and had already been thinking a lot about the replanting efforts. They have been a great partner in helping us make this happen.”
Walker said after the fire, there are a lot of needs in a lot of different directions. This was the first day the group began the replanting efforts.
“Our efforts right now are just providing land owners with information about their property post-fire, erosion control, things like that. Just kind of being able to provide the resources for them,” Walker said.
Wendt, who works with Point Blue Conservation Science, was a resident of Paradise and lost her home in the Camp Fire. She said there are multiple reasons why replanting in the burn area is important.
“For ecological restoration, so we’re bringing trees back into the system. That would happen on its own naturally over a long period of time, but we’re trying to jump-start that,” Wendt said. “I also think it’s helpful for the community to see the restoration and to feel like they can be part of restoring landscapes after the fire, just to feel like they’re connected to the land a little bit more.”
Wendt said she was surprised to see people coming from far away to help with the replanting project.
“I think it’s really unique that we have people coming from the Bay Area and Shasta Lake and from all over the place. It feels like a greater community,” Wendt said. “This community was heavily impacted, but it feels like people are really coming in from all over the place to help, so it’s great.”
Claudia Ward and Belle Gartland drove to Oroville from Oakland Saturday morning.
One of Ward’s close friend’s parents lost their home in the Camp Fire and she had put together a fundraiser for them after the fire occurred. She said when Gartland asked her to attend the replanting, she was all for it because it affected so many people who don’t even live near the burned area.
“It just affected so many people. It affected us being down there (Oakland) from the smoke,” Ward said. “We weren’t too far removed from what was going on. It’s a great opportunity to come and support.”
Ward said seeing the devastation for the first time was emotional for her.
“It’s definitely emotional,” Ward said. “I hadn’t driven up here. This is the first time I’ve driven through here and just seeing it for the first time, it just has an eerie sense about it as you drive through because it’s silent. You really see first-hand how devastating the fire was.” Related Articles

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