Volunteers restoring forests destroyed by fires

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by Associated Press

kvue.com

Posted on December 3, 2013 at 9:15 AM

BASTROP, Texas (AP) -- Volunteers by the dozens have been helping to restore pine forests in Central Texas that were destroyed by wildfires in 2011.

The Austin American-Statesman reports the volunteers have come from across the United States and Canada to help restore the Bastrop County forests, including in Bastrop State Park.

It's been a challenge, though. Jamie Hackett, who is superintendent of the state park, says only about 13 percent of the 250,000 seedlings planted last year survived last winter. She blames the mortality rate on the continuing drought in that area, which is about 30 miles southeast of Austin.

But the heavy Halloween rains have fueled optimism for this year's planting.

The Austin-based nonprofit TreeFolks plans to plant 780,000 trees on 175 to 200 properties this winter.

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