Interior least tern, an endangered species that lives in Ozark National Forest. Credit: USFWS

Project Name:
Bee Ridge Wildfire Restoration

Ozark National Forest, Ark.

Key Activities:

  • Planting 61,200 trees across 90 acres
  • Reforesting an ecosystem damaged by wildfire

Project Description:
American Forests and the U.S. Forest Service are reforesting 90 acres of Arkansas’ Ozark National Forest with more than 61,000 shortleaf pine to restore an area burned by wildfire.

Why This Project:
In July 2012, lightning caused a series of fires in Ozark National Forest due to drought-fueled dry conditions. These intense fires killed some of the forest’s overstory shortleaf pine, which needs to be replanted to maintain the area’s native species composition, health and sustainability.

Shortleaf pine grows exclusively in the southeastern United States, and its seeds are a popular food source for birds and mammals, while its canopy provides wildlife with protection from the elements.

Why Ozark:
Ozark National Forest, along with its companion St. Francis National Forest, is home to many endangered and threatened species, including gray, Indiana and Ozark big-eared bats; Ozark cavefish; interior least tern; American alligator; and bald eagle. Covering 1.2 million acres, the forest contains more than 500 species of trees and woody plants, with hardwoods making up 65 percent of the forestland.

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