Stanislaus National Forest

A hunter’s illegal fire in 2013 destroyed more than 250,000 acres in Stanislaus National Forest and Yosemite National Park (that’s 8 times the size of San Francisco). The Rim Fire burned so hot that, in some areas, it changed the soil’s composition from living to dead. It also increased the land’s vulnerability to erosion and invasive species, and cost more than $127 million before it was extinguished. Combined with global warming and drought, this mega fire ultimately killed even more trees, and accelerated the deadly effects of the bark beetle, which is destroying forests in the American West.

From 2015 through 2017, In Good Company collaborated with the Tuolumne River Trust, the Telele Foundation, and the U.S. Forest Service to begin restoring the Tuolumne River watershed. Volunteers planted over 5,000 trees and prepped acreage for even more planting, felling brush and trees by hand so we wouldn’t disturb endangered species. Not all projects were in the backwoods—we also created an outdoor living classroom and helped re-beautify a scenic overlook known as the Rim of the World.

The Stanislaus projects gave us a hands-on education about fire ecology; during 2017, more than 9,000 wild fires raged through California, burning over 1.3 million acres. We left Stanislaus with renewed appreciation for healthy soil and water, especially nearby Hetch Hetchy, which supports Central Valley agriculture and supplies drinking water to nearly 3 million people. We also left a gift for the local people and the parks themselves: 5,000 conifers—Ponderosa Pine, White Fir, Incense Cedar and Sugar Pine—a legacy that will house wildlife, store carbon, and provide oxygen for our children’s children.

5,000+ trees planted
2,472 volunteer hours
537 s'mores

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