CAL FIRE seeks public and private landowner help in important annual cone survey

Sacramento – The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection’s (CAL FIRE) Lewis A. Moran Reforestation Center (LAMRC) needs your help in reforesting California and is looking to members of the public and private landowners to assist in the yearly Cone Crop Survey. The Reforestation Services Program is responsible for cone surveys across the entire state and rely heavily on the expertise of external foresters, reforestation entities, research professionals, and reforestation minded individuals to assist with these surveys.

How can the public and private landowners assist? The Reforestation Pipeline Partnership, led by American Forests and joined by CAL FIRE, the US Forest Service and other entities, have launched a new joint cone survey application where anyone can provide cone survey data. The Cone Observation Survey via the Survey123 application (available for iOS & Android) allows cone survey data to be shared across multiple organizations.

The objective of the yearly Cone Crop Survey is to identify potential conifer cone crops in California that can produce viable seeds for reforestation projects such as post-fire restoration and other reforestation demands. This indispensable information can ultimately translate into seeds available to benefit your region. It is estimated that the Seed Bank would need to collect 76,304 bushels for the entire state to meet today’s reforestation needs.

This year CAL FIRE is especially focused on the following species: Ponderosa pine, Douglas-fir, Jeffrey pine, coast redwood, white fir, red fir, and blister rust resistant sugar pine below 6000 feet. More information on California’s reforestation needs can be found in the Assessment of Needs.

Suitable crops that are discovered by the cone survey will be harvested between July and September. Cones then get transported to the LAMRC for processing and quality testing and are then packaged for storage in the State Seed Bank until they are requested for reforestation projects.

The State Seed Bank manager has distributed a memorandum containing a full description of how you can help support reforestation efforts in your region, additional resources, and detailed instructions on the Cone Observation Survey and criteria for rating cone crops.

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