December 30, 2020
The scope of the accomplishments of Cascade Forest Conservancy’s on-the-ground restoration and conservation work wouldn’t be possible without the help of our dedicated community of volunteers. Year after year, these citizen scientists give their time and labor to make positive impacts in habitats across the southern Washington Cascades. We are always grateful for their help, but never more so than we are in 2020.
Sadly, many of the trips that had been planned for this year were canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Other trips were adjusted so volunteers could participate with minimal risk of exposure.
Our amazing volunteers donated over 500 hours of their time to important conservation and restoration projects across the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. They did demanding work; hiking, bushwhacking, duff raking, seed collecting, replanting and reseeding—all while wearing face masks and practicing social distancing.
Because of their love for our forests and their generosity, in 2020 we were able to:
- collect thousands of images from wildlife cameras deep within the Gifford Pinchot. The data collected is helping scientists understand the distributions of reintroduced fishers (a native species that until recently had been extirpated within the Gifford Pinchot.) The camera data is also shedding a light on other wildlife throughout the region.
- prepare ancient ponderosa pines across 95 acres for prescribed burning while collecting data to help forest managers understand the effects of fire in the unique forest near Mt. Adams.
- plant more than 300 plants and reseed 20 acres of forest affected by three recurring burns in recent years.
The impacts of all this work will benefit ecosystems across the southern Washington Cascades for years to come. 2020 will be remembered as a uniquely challenging time, but also as one when people came together to protect and care for our common home. We couldn’t have accomplished all we did this year without our volunteers, thank you!