Forest Service planting Over 153,000 ponderosa pine trees

BLACK HILLS, S.D.(DRGNews)- The Jasper Fire burned over 83,500 acres throughout the southern Black Hills National Forest back in 2000.

Scott Jacobson with the U.S. Forest Service says since 2002, foresters and crews have been replanting trees to help the forest fill back in.

Jacobson says the replanting efforts got a boost Friday.

Jacobson says in time, these seedlings will benefit the forest, wildlife, the timber industry and more.

Jacobson says replanting begins with crews loading up shoulder bags of seedlings, and using what’s called a “hoedad”–a heavy combination hoe and pickax tool– to make the holes to plant the seedlings. Those people are followed by crew members that place a protective mesh tube– made of a substance that will decompose in 3-5 years– for added protection from wildlife, on every other tree. He says each contract employee plants about 1,000 trees per day.