Written by Dave Smith —
NORTH FORK — A prolonged drought not experienced in many decades has resulted in highly significant conifer and oak mortality.
Over the winter, in an effort to reduce hazards to the public, U. S. Forest Service crews felled dead conifers in the area around the Bass Lake boat ramp near the dam. Once these hazard trees were felled and the slash cleaned up, the area was ready for reforestation.
Ten Scouts and several adults from Troop 357, North Fork, spent Sunday afternoon, Apr. 24, planting ponderosa pine and sugar pine seedlings in the area near the boat ramp.
A total of 130 one year old seedlings were planted. One hundred bare root ponderosa pine and thirty containerized blister rust resistant sugar pine were planted over the course of the afternoon.
Scouts received hands-on instruction in proper handling and planting of young seedlings from the troop adult leadership who have tree planting experience.
Planting areas were first scalped clear of competing vegetation, twigs, and dry soil using a McLeod. (The McLeod was originally invented by Malcom McLeod in 1905 on the Sierra National Forest).
Most planting holes were created utilizing a power auger. A planting bar was also used for planting some of the seedlings. Although not used on Sunday, Scouts received instruction in the use of a hoedad for tree planting.
Seedlings planted during the afternoon were ordered more than one year ago to be specifically grown by the U. S. Forest Service, Bass Lake Ranger District, for planting areas around the lake including the Courtney Fire and Forks Campground. Planting within the Courtney Fire and Forks Campground was completed by contract and U. S. Forest Service personnel prior to the Scouts planting on the 24th.
Troop 357 meets at the Scout Building in North Fork on Monday evenings from 7 to 8:30 pm. Boys between the ages of 10 ½ and 17 are eligible to be a Scout. For more information, contact Dave Smith, Scoutmaster, at 877-2186.