Deforestation, News, Travel

Boxed Water is Planting Trees in These 7 National Forests

Jun 02, 2020
Mandy Cech
Contributing Author
Mandy Cech
Contributing Author

We can't stop celebrating the fact that we've planted over one million trees in National Forests across the U.S., thanks in part, to your social media posts! Now, we’re embarking on our next one million trees. 

Want to help us get there? Name one of your house plants or a favorite neighborhood tree and submit that name on our website — we’ll plant a tree for you in a National Forest. Take it a step further — post a photo of your plant on social media and tag @BoxedWater and we'll plant TWO trees in your honor!

So where are all these trees being planted anyway?

Our friends at the National Forest Foundation (NFF) do an amazing job pairing brands (like us) with the U.S. Forest Service to find the areas of greatest need. Wildfires, insects, and disease are all threats our National Forests face on a regular basis. Planting young trees is a small step in the thoughtful process of restoring them.

Once the NFF and U.S. Forest Service have identified a forest in need, native seeds are gathered from trees already thriving in that forest, and then cultivated at a greenhouse prior to planting. This process helps ensure each tree planted can thrive in its new home.

Thanks to these reforestation efforts, we all enjoy purified air, clean drinking water, and wildlife species that keep our planet in balance.  

Your small actions, like posting with the hashtag #BetterPlanet, naming a houseplant, or ordering our plant-based cartons, are making a big impact.

Here are some of the forests we're planting in:

U.S. Forest Service Ranger planting sapling

Stanislaus National Forest, California

Suffered one of California’s largest wildfires

California’s Stanislaus National Forest covers nearly one million acres and contains more than 800 miles of streams. In an increasingly drought-stricken state, it's an important source of water.

During the summer of 2013, The Rim Fire started in the Stanislaus National Forest and burned more than 250,000 acres of forest in the Sierra Nevada mountains.

Restoring this forest is a top priority.

Failure to do so could lead to erosion and sedimentation of downstream water supplies. By planting a diverse mix of trees — ponderosa pine, sugar pine, incense cedar, white fir, and Douglas-fir — the Stanislaus National Forest will be able to regain its vibrance and help stabilize high-elevation watersheds. 

Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, Utah 

A vital water source, threatened by invasive insects

The Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest (UWC) covers more than four million acres of awe-inspiring, mountainous terrain in Northern Utah.

In addition to outstanding recreational opportunities, the mountains in this forest are a critical source of water for the 1.5 million people that live within Salt Lake City and the Wasatch Front. Tributary streams flowing from high elevation provide cold, clean water for residents downstream. 

But the invasive spruce bark beetle has caused a widespread decline of Engelmann spruce trees, eliminating forest cover and the watershed for communities along the Wasatch Front.

Tree planting and reforestation efforts have helped reestablish the Engelmann spruce forests and improve its function as a watershed.

Boxed Water backpack

Kootenai National Forest, Montana

Home to endangered grizzly bears

Located in the northwest corner of Montana and spilling into northeast Idaho, the Kootenai National Forest offers stunning views, elevated peaks, and remote wilderness — perfect for animals like wolverines, lynx, and grizzly bears, which all prefer a more reclusive habitat. This forest includes the Cabinet-Yaak Ecosystem, one of the few remaining areas in the contiguous U.S. where grizzly bears live today.

In 2017, multiple wildfires merged and burned across thousands of acres of habitat, consuming the forest floor and trees throughout its reach.

To aid in the restoration of the Kootenai National Forest, Boxed Water help plant seedlings of multiple species, including native pine, larch, and spruce. Grizzly bear population estimates in the Cabinat-Yaak remain low and fragmented, and this project will improve vital habitat for the threatened species, helping to support overall recovery efforts.

National Forests of Florida

Florida’s historic habitat for endangered woodpeckers

Longleaf pine forests were once found sprawling anywhere from southern Virginia to Florida and eastern Texas. Today, the species is found on just three percent of its historic range.

To help, we’ve planted trees on the Ocala, Osceola, and Apalachicola National Forests. Reforesting longleaf pine provides critical nesting and habitat for the endangered red-cockaded woodpeckers, which are an important species, given they create and maintain habitat that other species depend on.  

Lassen National Forest

Lassen National Forest, California

Suffered drought and wildfire

Covering more than 1 million acres in northeastern California, the Lassen National Forest is a diverse landscape that includes lakes, canyons, volcanic lava tubes, and mountain meadows. Unfortunately, the forest has been plagued by the same droughts that have affected much of California, heightening wildfire risk. 

Numerous wildfires have swept across the Lassen National Forest, damaging old-growth forests, displacing forest-dwelling animal species, and damaging vital watersheds.

The tree species to be planted are a diverse mix including ponderosa pine, Jeffrey pine, Douglas-fir, sugar pine, incense cedar, western white pine, and western hemlock. As these tree seedlings begin to grow, they will help the Forest recover from these wildfires, and offer additional habitat to the animals that depend on it.

Deschutes National Forest, Oregon

Home to the Northern Spotted Owl but suffering from lack of forest diversity

The Deschutes National Forest sprawls across 1.8 million acres of the eastern Cascade mountain range in Oregon. In addition to providing near endless recreational opportunities for visitors, the Forest is located in the heart of the Northern Spotted Owl range and serves as critical habitat for this species.  Over time, portions of the forest have been whittled down to primarily one type of tree: the lodgepole pine. This limits this forest's long-term health and potential to survive.

To increase overall forest diversity, the Deschutes National Forest initiated large-scale reforestation efforts to restore portions of the forest to a more diverse species mix, including ponderosa pine, Douglas fir, and sugar pine. This project will provide habitat for the Northern Spotted Owl and make this landscape more resilient to the effects of a changing climate.

Hike with Boxed Water in Michigan

Hiawatha National Forest, Michigan 

Invasive insects causing beech bark disease in trees.

The Hiawatha National Forest occupies nearly one million acres of forests in Michigan’s popular Upper Peninsula. Containing more than one hundred miles of shoreline, hundreds of ski trails and endless scenic vistas, the Hiawatha is a popular recreational draw for many in Wisconsin and Michigan. 

Unfortunately, an invasive insect has been threatening the health of forests in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The beech tree has been under siege by the invasive insect, leading to a deadly condition called beech bark disease.  The disease has been so severe in some areas that forest managers have seen the loss of beech forests of up to 98 percent.

To combat this, we’ve planted eastern white pine, white spruce, and hemlock seedlings across hundreds of acres that were most severely affected by the disease. Planting diverse species of trees can help prevent the spread of the disease and increase wildlife habitat for local birds and wildlife.  

We can thank our friends at the NFF and US Forest Service for being great stewards of our National Forests. Please join us as we work to plant another million trees and to keep our planet healthy.

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