TreePeople California Emergency Fire Recovery Fund
TreePeople’s nature-based solutions to remove invasives such as grasses, plant native seedlings, and care for these plants have proven to be an effective way to mitigate the spread of wildfires (SLIDE THE IMAGE ABOVE TO SEE THE BEFORE AND AFTER PICTURES).
Support the TreePeople California Emergency Fire Recovery Fund
YOU are a crucial component of our success.
TreePeople’s California Emergency Fire Recovery Fund - a subset of Forest Aid - will be used directly for the restoration and propagation of the surrounding mountains affected by wildfires that have ravaged Southern California.. To see more photos of our surviving saplings in the aftermath of the Malibu Woolsey fire, visit our Flickr Album.
Your ongoing support helps TreePeople take a nature-based approach to restoration and resilience. Your donation will help fund the seedlings of native plant species, which we are growing in our nursery right now. These seeds will be used to propagate these burn sites and help revitalize our communities.
As TreePeople is a secondary-responder that will be tasked to help nature heal itself, know that your donations will be used to pay for tools, equipment and our ongoing research to better understand how these wildfires can be mitigated.
In 2018, California experienced its deadliest fire season in history, and this year could be worse.
The Malibu Woolsey Fire burned almost 100,000 acres in Los Angeles and Ventura counties within 7 days forcing close to 200,000 residents from their homes. In Northern California, the Camp Fire was the deadliest wildfire in California history with more than 80 dead and over 1,000 people still missing. These threats underscore how much we need to come together and support each other.
Fueled by low humidity, extended droughts and gusty winds, the death and destruction caused by the fires in California have made us more determined than ever to implement our solutions for climate and fire resilience….we cannot afford to lose any more lives, wildlife, forests or millions of acres of precious land.
After a massive rainy season, Southern California has become a lush, green, flower-spotted paradise. At first glance, this appears to be a good thing. Nature is thriving, right? Well, unfortunately, not all of the plants that were showered by the rains are good for the environment in our Mediterranean Climate. A myriad of invasive species are also benefiting from the extra water, covering hillsides with extra mass. These invasives aren’t designed for our climate, and once our hot summer season kicks in, they will dry out. We call these plants “flash fuels” because hillsides covered in dry brush create a perfect storm for fires to ignite and spread very quickly.
That is why we have to be prepared – so when the next fire season comes around, we’re prepared for the ensuing round of careful restoration work that must be undertaken to repair the land we work so hard to protect.
Since the wildfires started, TreePeople has been moved with calls from people like you who wanted to do something to help. Our precious mountains and impacted communities will need you more than ever before...and we invite you to rise to the challenge.
“What would nature do?”
She would...Start with the Roots. Go Native. Take the Long View.
Start with the Roots
After a burn, the land may look like a moonscape on the surface, but we have to consider what’s going on underground. From observation, we learn that chaparral burn quickly but the roots are still alive. For one to two years after a burn, we study what native plants will grow, and thus create shade for the ground, fix the soil and provide food for pollinators like bees and other insects. Seeds that have been stored in soil over time, sometimes even from 100 years ago, are waiting for sunshine, smoke, ash, or water to stimulate their growth.
In fire damaged areas, we remove competition from invasive plants and see if the ecosystem has a robust response. If the area is so damaged that it doesn’t respond, we then look at what has historically grown in that particular site. To give the whole ecosystem a boost we’ll plant native annuals, grasses, chaparral, and trees. In some cases, we collect seeds on-site and grow seedlings at our greenhouse in TreePeople’s nursery to be planted on-site.
Take the Long View
As Cody Chappel, TreePeople Wildlands Restoration Manager, explains, “Immediately after a wildfire, there’s an emotional public demand for action; and we begin to assess, evaluate and surgically plan towards recovery and resilience . We don’t want to stampede into a fragile area and stomp around where amazing unseen processes are at work. For instance, the U.S. Forest Service typically waits a year to observe the response of the ecosystem. We are ready to continue our ongoing restoration jobs. Ultimately, Mother Nature decides what survives where.”
To see how our work has revitalized our mountain forests and streets throughout the decades, visit the TreePeople Then & Now page.