Satellite image of Byrd-Goat Fire. Credit: Jeff Schmaltz

About the Byrd-Goat Fire ReLeaf Project:

American Forests and the U.S. Forest Service are reforesting 750 acres of Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest with a variety of tree species, mainly conifers, to restore an area lost during the Byrd-Goat Fire.

Global ReLeaf provides forests like this — and the communities that depend on them — with the restoration they need to thrive. Since 1990, American Forests has brought ReLeaf to forests in all 50 states and 44 countries, planting more than 45 million trees in the process.

ReLeaf Location:

Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, WA

Key ReLeaf Activities:

  • Planting 150,000 trees across 750 acres
  • Restoring an ecosystem damaged by wildfire
  • Restoring recreation facilities

Why This ReLeaf Project?

Forested lands are important habitat for multiple terrestrial wildlife species, while the health of these areas is critical for aquatic species downstream. Public lands within the wilderness-urban interface invite recreationists who facilitate community education on public lands where restoration activities are taking place. During September 2012, lightning ignited many wildfires across the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. Within the Byrd Fire in the Entiat Ranger District and the Goat Fire on the adjacent Chelan Ranger District, fires burned through plantations that were less than 20 years old.

Why the Wildland-Urban Interface?

The interface between urban centers and nature is often important for community and recreation. By repairing this particular forested area, Washingtonians will regain an area for hiking, camping and assorted other outdoor activities, while preserving the local ecosystem from erosion and species loss due to the absence of tree cover. The new trees will also make the project area more aesthetically pleasing to visitors.

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