The U.S. Forest Service is working on the largest reforestation project in Black Hills history to help regenerate the area damaged by the largest forest fire in Black Hills history – the 2000 Jasper Fire. The soil from the burn area is rocky and trees have not been regenerating as expected, reports KOTA Territory News.
Therefore, the Forest Service has stepped in to help. Forest service crews are harvesting pine cones from the burn area which will be transferred to a nursery that will start seedlings for replanting in the Southern Hills. The cone collection is being done in hopes that the seedlings planted will come from trees from the same area.
The seedlings will be raised at a forest service nursery in Nebraska before returning to the Jasper burn area in the spring. Regeneration is a long process, but local officials are dedicated to transform the landscape, even 18 years after the initial burn.
Read more about fires in the Black Hills on the Black Hills Knowledge Network online news archive.