Bald eagle, a species that nests in Chippewa National Forest. Credit: David J. Laporte

Project Name:
Blowdown Reforestation

Location:
Chippewa National Forest, Minn.

Key Activities:

  • Planting 600,000 trees across 600 acres
  • Reforesting an ecosystem damaged by a blowdown
  • Restoring habitat for wildlife


Project Description:
American Forests and the U.S. Forest Service are reforesting more than 600 acres of Minnesota’s Chippewa National Forest with 600,000 white, red and jack pines and white spruce to restore an area severely damaged by a blowdown.

Why This Project:
On July 2, 2012, a storm with straight-line winds up to 85 mph caused massive blowdown across 95,000 acres of Chippewa National Forest. It’s estimated that 12,000 of these acres were severely damaged, especially those in an area of the forest known as “pine country.” Thousands of mature pines were snapped off or uprooted. In order to prevent pine country from being overrun with aspen and hazel, this project is planting 600,000 white, red and jack pines and white spruce.

These planting efforts are also helping restore wildlife habitat lost in the blowdown and popular recreation areas. The site’s pines are also of cultural significance to the area’s Ojibwa community living on the Leech Lake Reservation, making restoration an important cultural act as well.

Why Chippewa:
Chippewa National Forest’s woodlands were home to people dating back more than 10,000 years. Today, the lands are still of significance to the Anishinabe people, who live and work in the forest.

In addition, the national forest contains the highest breeding population of bald eagles in the lower 48 states. More than 150 pairs of eagles make their homes in the forest’s pines. The eagles are joined by more than 250 other wildlife species that make their homes in 1.6 million-acre Chippewa National Forest.


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