Texas National Guard UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters release water onto the Bastrop County Complex Fire in September 2011.

Texas National Guard UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters release water onto the Bastrop County Complex Fire in September 2011. Credit: Staff Sgt. Malcolm McClendon/U.S. Army

Loblolly pine stand

Loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) stand. Credit: David Stephens, Bugwood.org

Location:
Bastrop County, Texas

Key Activities:

  • Planting 54,000 trees across 350 acres
  • Restoring an urban forest damaged by wildfire

Project Description:
Alongside TreeFolks, Alcoa Foundation and American Forests are restoring trees to 350 acres of private property that were damaged during a catastrophic wildfire in 2011.

Why This Project:
In September 2011, an electrical fire six miles northeast of Bastrop, Texas set the Lost Pines ecosystem ablaze. For 30 days, the fire burned, consuming 34,000 acres and destroying more than 1,600 homes and businesses. To help the community recover, this project is working with private landowners in Bastrop County to plant loblolly pine throughout the community to kick-start the recovery of this ecosystem damaged in the 2011 blaze. This endeavor is designed to aid additional efforts underway to reforest other areas of the Lost Pines ecosystem.

Why the Lost Pines Ecosystem:
During the Bastrop County Complex Fire in 2011, more than 16,000 acres of loblolly pine were lost. Beyond providing much of the character and beauty of the area, these pines were survivors, as they had adapted to the unique climate of central Texas. Receiving less rainfall per year than other loblolly ecosystems to the east, the Lost Pines developed a special coating for their needles to help survive the drier climate. In doing so, they also created habitat for wildlife species in central Texas, including the endangered Houston toad.

Interested in the other Texas reforestation projects in which we’ve been involved? Check out our Texas Global ReLeaf projects.