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TAHOE CITY, Calif. (Oct. 21, 2021) – The UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center is offering free sugar pine seedlings to Tahoe residents October 29-31 as part of a restoration project funded by the Tahoe Fund and the California Tahoe Conservancy. The goal of the project is to establish a new generation of genetically diverse sugar pines that can withstand the threats of climate change, including drought and bark beetle outbreaks. By restoring native sugar pines to the area and increasing their genetic diversity, the overall forest will benefit.

Pine seedlings. Photo courtesy Tahoe Fund

Thriving sugar pines with their giant, foot-long cones, once covered a quarter of Lake Tahoe’s forests. Comstock Era logging devastated the population and now they are down to 5% or less. A significant share of their genetic diversity was also eliminated. Over the years, white pine blister rust, bark beetles and drought have impacted those that remain. Drought and bark-beetle infestation killed more than 129 million trees between 2012 and 2016 in the Sierra Nevada. 

UC Davis biologist Patricia Maloney and a team of researchers collected seeds from 100 surviving sugar pine trees. These seeds were then used to grow more than 10,000 seedlings. Most of these were planted in the forest along the North Shore of Lake Tahoe.  Two thousand seedlings are now available to Tahoe residents to plant in their own backyards. 

Residents can pick up the sugar pine seedlings at the Tahoe City Field Station at 2400 Lake Forest Road in Tahoe City on October 29 from 2pm-5pm or Saturday and Sunday October 30-31 from 11am-2pm. 

Learn more about the project at this link.

About Tahoe Fund
The Tahoe Fund was founded in 2010 to work with the private community to support environmental improvement projects that restore lake clarity, enhance outdoor recreation, promote healthier forests, improve transportation and inspire greater stewardship of the region. Through the generous support of private donors, the Tahoe Fund has leveraged more than $3 million in private funds to secure more than $50 million in public funds for more than 60 environmental projects. The projects include new sections of the Lake Tahoe Bikeway, restoration of watersheds, removal of aquatic invasive species, forest health projects, public beach improvements, and stewardship programs. Learn more at www.tahoefund.org.

About The California Tahoe Conservancy
The California Tahoe Conservancy is a State agency, established in 1985, with a mission to lead California’s efforts to restore and enhance the extraordinary natural and recreational resources of the Lake Tahoe Basin. Learn more at www.tahoe.ca.gov.