FRENCH GULCH, Calif. — More than 2,000 tree seedlings were given away Tuesday afternoon to residents in the French Gulch community in the wake of the Carr Fire, provided by Sierra Pacific Industries.
The French Gulch Upper Clear Creek Resource Management Group, who works to manage the long-term care of the natural resources and community of the Upper Clear Creek Watershed, is hosting the event to kick off their Carr Fire Recovery and Watershed Restoration Project to help restore the community.
In partnership with Sierra Pacific Industries, they have donated over 2,000 trees for residents to help restore and replant on the scorched land left in the aftermath of the fire.
The tree seedlings giveaway took place at the French Gulch Oddfellows Lodge at 14180 Main Street in French Gulch.
Residents will have the opportunity to choose from Ponderosa Pine trees, Douglas fir trees, and Cedar trees and there will be a forestry expert from Sierra Pacific to share information and tips on replanting and caring for the trees.
Shasta County Supervisor Leonard Moty, who coordinated the event, expressed in a statement that he is thrilled for the community impacted by the fire having this opportunity to have the seedlings.
“With SPI’s donation of these seedlings, these communities will be able to replant and enjoy the beauty the trees will provide, as well as reap the long-term benefits of a restored habitat along with cleaner air and water,” Moty said.
President of French Gulch Upper Clear Creek Resource Management Group Mark Frost expressed in a statement, his gratitude for Sierra Pacific's donation of trees.
“The summer of 2018 was a stark reminder of how vulnerable the 42,000 acres in the watershed of Upper Clear Creek really are," Frost said. "Drought, fire, wind, snow and rain continue to take a toll in French Gulch. Given this opportunity by Sierra Pacific Industries for the community to plant tree seedling on their scorched land, gives new hope that the Upper Clear Creek watershed will continue to recover from the Carr Fire."
Over 30 French Gulch residents attended the giveaway and eagerly received the trees.
"I'm thankful because losing all my trees was probably worse than losing my home. I loved my trees so much and so now I can start them again even though they won't be big enough by the time I'm gone, my kids will have them, " said 40-year-old Janet Landles from French Gulch.
For those who missed the passing out of seedlings, Kristy Lanham with Sierra Pacific said they can reach out the Sierra Pacific about the giveaway.
Lanham said they hope to continue the program to help other communities affected by the fires. Their next stop will be in the Keswick area in Shasta County and other areas impacted by the Camp Fire.