‘We’re going to need so many seedlings’ for reforestation push

By Alex Brown
Helena Independent Record
May 25, 2023
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Tree Cover Loss

Over the next few years, state tree nurseries across the country will build new greenhouses, expand irrigation systems, upgrade seeding equipment and bring on staff. They’re hoping to turn millions of new federal dollars into millions of new seedlings — part of a collaborative effort to reforest landscapes threatened by climate change. “We’re going to need so many seedlings,” Homer Wilkes, undersecretary for natural resources and environment at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, told Stateline. “Helping states get where they need to be is going to be cheaper and more efficient and is going to meet our goals and needs faster, than if the Forest Service tried to build these nurseries ourselves.” Earlier this year, the department announced $10 million to support reforestation work, funded by the infrastructure law that passed in 2021. That law will provide more money for states in the years to come, as well as for federal nursery programs.

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