A view of the 2009 Station Fire near Los Angeles.

A view of the 2009 Station Fire near Los Angeles. Credit: Bill Westphal/Flickr

About the Revitalizing Los Angeles’ Backyard: Station Fire Restoration Part 3 ReLeaf Project:

Alcoa Foundation, American Forests and the National Forest Foundation are planting a variety of tree species to restore and improve recreation areas and a watershed in Angeles National Forest that were damaged in the 2009 Station Fire.

ReLeaf Location:

Angeles National Forest, Calif.

Key ReLeaf Activities:

  • Planting 250 trees and cuttings across three acres.
  • Reforesting areas affected by a 2009 wildfire.
  • Improving watershed health and stability.

Why This ReLeaf Project?

The 2009 Station Fire burned nearly 25 percent of Angeles National Forest. The national forest is within an hour of the Los Angeles basin’s 17 million residents and is a popular recreation area. Construction repairs, disease, insects and soil erosion have hindered the natural regrowth of the fire-burned area.

This project is focusing on restoring four key recreation areas: Wildwood Picnic Site, Stoneyvale Picnic Site, Hidden Springs Picnic Site and Delta Flats Day Use Area. While oaks and Douglas-fir are being planted at the recreation sites, willow and cottonwood cuttings are being used along nearby riparian areas to improve the canopy, stabilize the bank and reduce the potential for invasive species.

Why the Big Tujunga Watershed?

The Big Tujunga Reservoir and its tributaries were adversely affected by the Station Fire because the burned trees no longer provide soil stabilization, causing sediment to accumulate in the area’s waterways. This, in turn, affects the quality and quantity of water to the local municipalities that rely on this watershed.

Willows and cottonwoods, which thrive in riparian areas, can help reduce erosion, filter pollutants and reduce sedimentation. In addition, these trees provide increased canopy cover, creating shaded areas for water recreation.