Project Name: Ashland Post Fire Rehabilitation
Location: Custer National Forest, MT
Number of Trees: 200,000
Custer National Forest was created more than a hundred years ago to protect the diverse landscape of southeast Montana and northwest South Dakota. From its rolling grasslands to Montana’s highest peak, Granite Peak, Custer spans more than 1.2 million acres of ecologically and historically diverse forest — it contains more heritage sites than any other Northern Region national forest.
Custer National Forest’s Ashland Ranger District in southeast Montana — one of three districts in the forest — offers a wide variety of recreation opportunities: hunting, fishing, horseback riding, camping. The also forest boasts a number of important wildlife species — elk, mule and whitetail deer, and goshawk are just some of the species that call Custer home, and all have seen their forested home threatened in recent years.
In 2000, 13 wildfires destroyed 71,000 acres in the Ashland Ranger District. It’s estimated that these fires, combined with others since 2000, have affected a quarter of Ashland’s acreage, and many of those acres haven’t been able to regenerate on their own. This is why the USDA Forest Service is working to kickstart the regeneration of these ponderosa pine forests — and American Forests is aiding their efforts in 2012. Almost 200,000 ponderosa pines will be planted across 450 acres as part of this project in Custer National Forest, and vital habitat and ecosystem services, such as watershed protection, will be restored.
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