Weyerhaeuser to Restore Wildfire Destroyed Forest Lands, Use 1980 Mt. St. Helen Plan

The destruction left in the path of last year’s Oregon fire season is slowly coming into focus. Last September more than a million acres burned, destroying many homes and in some place entire communities across much of western Oregon. Weyerhaeuser timberlands were impacted by several of the fires, including approximately 125,000 acres that need to be replanted. Weyerhaeuser acknowledges that it will takes year for them to fully recover and rebuild back from the disaster. However, the process is already underway. Weyerhaeuser intends to use the same plan they used in 1980 when Mount St. Helens volcano erupted and destroyed 68,000 acres of their tree farms. The wildfires in Oregon have caused damage on an even greater scale, but Weyerhaeuser’s response strategy is the same: “Salvage what can be saved, replant as quickly as possible to accelerate the forest’s recovery, and help restore all the benefits our timberlands provide, from clean air and water to wildlife habitat, recreation opportunities, sustainable wood products, carbon storage and so much more.” To get the process started, Weyerhaeuser intends to increase their planting crews from the traditional 8–9 crews to 18 and hopes to replant around 8 million seedlings this year. They intend to double effort again in 2022, with the balance slated for 2023 and 2024. Putting into perspective, it took about seven years to complete the Mount St. Helens replanting, which involved around 18 million seedlings. So, it’s a much bigger job in Oregon, and Weyerhaeuser plans on doing it in about half the time.

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