Sugar Pine Foundation | Plant sugar pines this spring | SierraSun.com

Sugar Pine Foundation | Plant sugar pines this spring

Special to the Sun
Submitted to aedgett@sierrasun.comSteve Turner and his son preprare to plant sugar pine seedlings at a past planting event. The Sugar Pine Foundation has several plantings arranged, including May 12 in Truckee.
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TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; As you may know, sugar pines and other white pines are plagued by a non-native invasive pathogen. White pine blister rust kills about 90 percent of sugar pines it infects. Scientists and restoration managers have agreed the only effective restoration strategy is to identify seed trees resistant to the rust and plant their progeny. That is exactly what the Sugar Pine Foundation does and you can help, too. Last fall, a volunteer described planting sugar pines as and#8220;creating life in our neck of the woods.and#8221;

For all of you who have been inspired by the recent release of Dr. Seussand#8217; and#8220;The Lorax,and#8221; this will be the perfect opportunity to turn that inspiration into action and do you part in bringing back the sugar pines. The Sugar Pine Foundation has 4,000 young sugar pines to plant in Tahoe this spring. On Saturday, May 12, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., the Sugar Pine Foundation is conducting a community planting at the beautiful Waddle Ranch by the Truckee Airport. This event was originally scheduled for last fall but early snowfall closed the dirt access road. This spring, Truckee High School student members of the Envirolution Club will help, but more volunteers are needed to plant 1,000 sugar pine seedlings. All volunteers will learn about the importance of native species, fire ecology and the need for proactive forest management, which also entails digging in the dirt and planting trees.

This project sponsored by the Truckee Tahoe Airport, is part of larger forest restoration effort at Waddle Ranch. Waddle Ranch, just north of Highway 267 between Truckee and Kings Beach, was logged in the Comstock era and then bought by the Waddle family in the 1880s to use for grazing livestock. Some of the most valuable land was sold in 1971 to the Pritzker family, that owns Hyatt hotels. In 2003, Placer County authorized up to 6,000 new homes, resort hotels, shopping malls and golf courses, which outraged conservationists. The Truckee Donner Land Trust and the Trust for Public Land purchased the 1,462-acre Waddle Ranch for preservation in 2007. Waddle Ranch is an important wildlife corridor and is now managed by the Truckee Tahoe Airport as a recreational area. Several forest thinning projects were conducted to restore forest density and reduce fire threat. Now sugar pines will be planted to restore forest composition.

The goal of the SPF is to help save Tahoeand#8217;s glorious sugar pines by planting blister rust-resistant seedlings throughout the Tahoe area. and#8220;We like to involve local students and community members in our restoration work and teach them about forest health,and#8221; says Maria Mircheva, SPF executive director. and#8220;We aim to inspire them to become forest stewards.and#8221; This spring, 20 Lake Tahoe Community College and 50 Sierra Nevada College students will also be planting with the Sugar Pine Foundation. Since 2008, the Foundation has planted more than 700 acres with more than 42,000 sugar pines and other native trees to maintain Tahoeand#8217;s legacy of beautiful, healthy forests. They need your help to reach their goal of planting 50,000 sugar pines in five years!

Spring planting schedule

Saturday, April 28, 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m., Earth Day planting in South Lake Tahoe. Park at the Lake Tahoe Community College and walk across Al Tahoe Boulevard to enjoy Earth Day festivities and plant sugar pines in Bijou Community Park.

Saturday, May 5,10 a.m.-noon, Community Planting in Glenbrook, Nev. Stop at the gate and get directions to the tennis courts. The planting is in the area above the tennis courts.

Saturday, May 12, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Waddle Ranch Planting in Truckee. Meet at the Truckee Tahoe Airport parking lot. Bring a 4WD vehicle or ride in the airport van to the planting site.

For more information call Maria Mircheva at 650-814-9565, visit http://www.sugarpinefoundation.org or email admin@sugarpinefoundation.org.