The endangered Houston toad, one of several local wildlife species benefiting from this project.

The endangered Houston toad, one of several local wildlife species benefiting from this project. Credit: John Williams/Flickr

About the Bastrop County Community Reforestation Program (BCCRP):

Now in its third year of reforestation, nonprofit TreeFolks has collected more than 1,000 applications from landowners for tree planting services. They continue to conduct on-site consultations with approximately 250 landowners representing 1,100 acres of land burned by wildfire to identify their reforestation goals and planting boundaries, determine number of trees to be planted and classify the appropriate planting method for their site. A tree planting plan is being created based on the site visit and guidelines from the BCCRP Comprehensive Plan, which will be agreed upon by both TreeFolks and the landowner.

ReLeaf Location:

Austin, Texas

Key ReLeaf Activities:

  • TreeFolks is distributing 4,500 loblolly pine and mixed hardwood species to individuals within the Bastrop community whose lands were affected by wildfire.
  • TreeFolks is recruiting and manage approximately 750 volunteers through 12 tree planting events.

Why This ReLeaf Project?

The Bastrop County Complex Fire was the most destructive wildfire in Texas history, impacting more than 34,000 acres of the unique Lost Pines eco-region in Bastrop County, Texas. This massive fire forced thousands of evacuations, destroyed more than 1,600 Bastrop County homes and took the lives of two people. More than 16,200 acres of loblolly pine unique to the Central Texas region, as well as deciduous hardwood forests full of large, mature trees, were burned during the fire. This region also comprises a significant portion of the remaining critical habitat for the endangered Houston toad.

Why Private Landowners?

More than 11,360 acres within the burn scar were privately owned land. This chunk of real estate was classified as moderate to severely burned, meaning the recovery of any significant loblolly pine regeneration on these lands under natural conditions is not likely to occur. Because of the intensity of the fire, subsequent erosion and soil loss, and the ongoing drought, facilitated reforestation efforts are necessary to help restore the Lost Pines. Additionally, many landowners were un-insured or underinsured and do not have the resources to replant their land. TreeFolks’ free reforestation program removes this barrier and allows landowners to begin replanting as quickly as possible.