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The wildfires that occurred in Bastrop County over Labor Day weekend, 2011 were devastating. Over 34,000 acres of woodland burned in the Lost Pines area of the county. Seventy-five percent of that acreage is in private ownership with the remainder being in Bastrop State Park and public rights-of-way. The Lost Pines Habitat Recovery Project seeks to accelerate native vegetation recovery on 11,360 acres of privately owned and burned land in the Lost Pines of Bastrop County. The accelerated recovery of native vegetation will significantly reduce soil erosion on treated acres, more rapidly … [Read More...]

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Goal 1: Control soil erosion on 4,450 acres. Erosion robs land of its soil and its ability to grow vegetation. Losing nutrient-rich topsoil diminishes productivity and hinders the re-establishment of natural vegetation in burned-over areas following a fire. Soil and ash eroding off the land can wash into surface water bodies like ponds, wetlands, creeks and rivers and cause negative impacts on water quality and aquatic habitat that can span from hours to years. Severe erosion can result in tremendous environmental and economic consequences by filling reservoirs and reducing their water … [Read More...]

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Goal 2: Reseed native grasses and forbs on 11,360 acres. Significant mortality of herbaceous vegetation (grasses and forbs) has been documented following wildfires that occurred during exceptionally dry periods (Nelle 2011).  However, surviving root stock and existing seed germination are usually adequate for natural regeneration of burned areas.  While the process of complete natural regeneration commonly requires about three years, the time period is highly dependent upon rainfall. Native grass/forb planting may be beneficial in areas where natural regeneration has not occurred or is … [Read More...]

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Goal 3: Re-establish indigenous Loblolly pine on 11,360 acres. Bastrop County is home to the westernmost distribution of loblolly called the Lost Pines.  This population of pine trees has developed adaptations over time to help them better survive the climate of central Texas.  The east Texas population of loblolly pine receives at least 10 inches more annual rainfall than the Lost Pines area.  Some of the adaptations the lost pines have made to survive these more arid conditions include: a thicker waxy coating on the needles, fewer stomata on the needles, more fibrous root systems, … [Read More...]

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Goal 4: Reduce fuel loads on 5,000 acres of unburned to scorched understory. Historic forests of the Lost Pines were known to be more open native shrubs often confined to riparian areas near streams and in upland areas of the landscape protected from fire.  Fire shaped much of the upland area often producing pine forest stands with larger, more widely spaced trees with an open understory.  Fires occurring in these forest stands were more frequent and less intense than wildfires we see today in the Lost Pines. The 5,000 acres of lost pines that recently escaped either unburned or with … [Read More...]

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Events

Volunteer Opportunity – Reforestation in Bastrop County 2014-2015

TreeFolks is looking for volunteers to plant trees this winter in areas affected by the 2011 Bastrop County Complex Fire. These events are part of our Bastrop County Community Reforestation Program which accelerates recovery of the Lost Pines eco-system by providing comprehensive reforestation services to landowners affected by the 2011 wildfire. This is a 5 year reforestation campaign to plant over 2 million trees on private land. Volunteers will plant 50,000 seedlings this winter which provide important environmental and social benefits to the Bastrop community and will help restore the beautiful Lost Pines to their natural landscape. Visit TreeFolks Volunteer Page for planting dates and to sign up.

REFORESTATION APPLICATIONS AVAILABLE

All landowners affected by the Bastrop County Complex Wildfire are encouraged to apply for free reforestation services from TreeFolks through the Bastrop County Community Reforestation Program (BCCRP). If you did not receive an application in the mail but were affected by the fire, you can download the application from the TreeFolks website, linked below. TreeFolks will make every effort to serve landowners in the order in which applications are received. If your property does not receive tree planting services this year, we ask for your patience. The demand for trees and reforestation services is far greater than the availability of tree planting resources. Apply now for free reforestation services.

Bastrop County Community Reforestation Project (BCCRP)

The Bastrop County Community Reforestation Project promotes recovery and reforestation of Bastrop County, it’s communities, and residents affected by the 2011 Bastrop County Complex Fire. To learn more, visit TreeFolks Reforestation. To volunteer with TreeFolks, visit theTreeFolks Volunteer Opportunities page. To volunteer at Bastrop State Park, visit the Arbor Day Texas page.