Oh, a tree planting we will go…

Strangely enough, I have never planted a tree.  I have cut them down before, but never planted one.  After this past weekend, hopefully my karma has been restored…

I went tree planting with the Mazamas.  We went just outside of Zig Zag at the base of Mt. Hood to replenish the Douglas Fir and Cedar displaced by an old Army initiative to “streamline” the rivers.

What happened way back when: all of the little eddies and side streams were removed as they were thought to contribute to uncontrollable flooding along the riverbanks.  However, by removing all of the off-shoots, when the rain really comes down there was nowhere for the river to go but up and over the banks instead of being stored in these mini-pools.  Another unfortunate result was that miles of vital fish spawning habitat was removed to the immediate detriment of the fish and critter population.

So, the local Forest Service has been restoring the area for quite some time now and the river banks and islands have now become sturdy enough to plant native trees on them.  That’s where we come in!

We got to put on gigantic waders…

Had to trade in my KEEN Targhees for...

Had to trade in my KEEN Targhees...

...for giant waders

...for giant waders

strap trees and seedlings to our backs,

Those little guys on my back are baby Doug Fir

Those little guys on my back are baby Doug Fir

and walk through the river to get to a secluded island needing some trees

Wading through the river on one side of our island

Wading through the river on one side of our island

It was SO MUCH FUN! The snow was coming down, the water was freezing, you could barely see, but with the waders and the water oozing in around our feet without actually getting us wet, we stayed nice and toasty.

River Chic at its best...

River Chic at its best...

Our fearless leader from the Forest Service

Our fearless leader from the Forest Service

The whole crew on our newly planted island!

The whole crew on our newly planted island!