Forest Unlimited’s volunteer tree planting projects seek to heal woodland properties

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Nature lovers looking to kick off 2015 with a good deed might consider volunteering next weekend to plant redwood seedlings for Forest Unlimited’s annual reforestation project.
The Forestville-based nonprofit organization is dedicated to protecting and enhancing forests and watersheds in Sonoma County. In addition to acting as a sort of watchdog for local logging operations, its members have been organizing tree plantings at select locations around Sonoma County for the past 17 years.
This year, the group will plant about 1,150 redwood seedlings Saturday and next Sunday — Jan. 9 and 10 — at Wildwood Retreat Center in the hills above Guerneville.
“It’s really a community effort,” said Carl Wahl, a volunteer with Forest Unlimited who has co-managed the project since 2001.
Wahl said Forest Unlimited tries to choose areas that are protected from development and logging by conservation easements, so that volunteers aren’t planting trees that “could be cut down in 40 years.” They also look for places where the redwoods and oaks they plant will thrive.
“We don’t just plant pell mell,” Wahl said. “We make sure the seedlings are planted in a location where they can basically survive unattended by humans.”
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