The U.S. Forest Service’s Plant-a-Tree Program offers donors a chance to help reforest burned areas on the San Juan National Forest.
With a minimum donation of $10, participants will receive a personalized certificate noting that seedlings have been reserved for an area of the San Juan National Forest. From nursery to forest, it costs about $2 per tree.
Donations are used for ponderosa pine, Douglas fir or Engelmann spruce seedlings. Reforestation helps create wildlife habitat, decrease soil erosion, encourage snow retention and provide clean air.
“We focus planting in areas impacted by large-scale fires outside of Wilderness where there is virtually no probability the area will reforest on its own in the next 100 years,” said Gretchen Fitzgerald, San Juan National Forest forester.
The U.S. Forest Service established the Plant-A-Tree Program in 1983 to allow donors to contribute money toward tree planting on National Forests to memorialize loved ones or commemorate births, weddings or special events.
Donations by cash, check or credit card can be made at San Juan National Forest offices in Bayfield, Durango, Dolores and Pagosa Springs. Credit card donations can also be taken over the phone. Checks can be mailed to San Juan National Forest Plant-a-Tree Coordinator, 15 Burnett Court, Durango, CO 81301, and should be made payable to USDA Forest Service, with “Plant-A-Tree, San Juan National Forest” noted in the memo portion of the check. The program is considered a charitable donation by the IRS.