Summer fires affected several Nebraska state parks. Now that the damage is done, it's time to regrow what was lost.
The Bessey Ranger District of the Nebraska National Forest and Grasslands is the oldest full service federal nursery. Opened in 1902, this nursery grows and ships plants to surrounding states that have been affected by disasters.
The nursery ships plants yearly to Valentine, Chadron and the U.S. Air Force Base in Colorado Springs. Considering the large number of powerful fires this year, plant orders from forests and parks will most likely increase this year.
"We've been shipping about 100,000 Ponderosa Pine and Douglas Fir to them every year," Nursery Manager Richard Gilbert said. "With those fires, I would assume that the numbers are going to jump up quite a bit."
It takes one season to grow the plants then in the spring when districts are ready to plant, they're shipped out.
"We just happed to have and are producing probably 150,000 Ponderosa Pines ready to be planted into the affected areas," Gilbert said.