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Project Name: Rooster Rock Fire Restoration

Location: Deschutes National Forest, OR

Number of Trees: 97,000

America had national parks. It had national forests. It had historic monuments. The government had protected millions of acres of land from the Atlantic to the Pacific. In 1964, a nearly unanimous Congress decided that those things weren’t enough: America’s wildest lands needed even more protection, and the Wilderness Act was born. Today, 109.5 million acres — approximately five percent of the United States’ total land — is part of the National Wilderness Preservation System, including Oregon’s Three Sisters Wilderness, which was designated with the act’s passage in 1964.

Spanning parts of Willamette National Forest and Deschutes National Forest, Three Sisters is named after the three sisters that dominate the landscape: Faith, Hope and Charity, the volcanic mountain peaks. All more than 10,000 feet tall, the Three Sisters and nearby Broken Top boast 14 glaciers and a rugged landscape of lava fields, waterfalls, alpine meadows, glacial lakes, streams full of fish and dense forests of firs, pines and hemlocks.

In 2010, six miles south of Sisters, Oregon — named for the majestic mountains — a 6,000-plus-acre fire broke out, burning both national forestland and that of private landowners in the area. The fire was intense and left much of the landscape with few seed sources, limiting the chances of natural regeneration. For the second year, American Forests is partnering with the USDA Forest Service to restore areas affected by 2010’s Rooster Rock Fire. Approximately 97,000 trees will be planted to restore forest cover for the benefit of the area’s many wildlife species, including black-tailed deer that frequent the area during the winter months. Water quality will also be improved as the young trees begin to stabilize the fragile soil and prevent further soil erosion into streams.

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