The wildfire season of 2000 had profound and far-reaching effects on forests in Montana. The Bear Fire blackened more than 12,000 acres of the Sula State Forest. The loss of 63 homes, wildlife habitat, grazing lands, commercial timber and other resources was devastating and costly to all Montanans. The fires occurred on trust lands, aptly named because they support financial trusts for education. The fires burned with such intensity that natural regeneration of the forest is not possible in many areas. In order to re-establish a forest on these sites, manual replanting is necessary. In 2003 American Forests, along with the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation and the Missoula Exchange Club, planted of 37,643 trees in the Sula State Forest to assist in the reforestation of this area.
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