Chevrolet Jumpstarts Reforestation of San Juan National Forest

Jan 9, 2012 2:00 PM ET

Chevrolet Jumpstarts Reforestation of San Juan National Forest

In 2003, parts of the San Juan National Forest in Colorado were decimated by forest fire, forcing area residents to evacuate for up to three weeks.

When they returned, the dense forest that once aided in capturing carbon from the atmosphere had been replaced by a dry and barren wasteland. This meant carbon, once stored in the trunks and root systems, was free to be released into the earth’s atmosphere, where growing concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases beyond historical levels threaten serious damage to global climate stability. 

To help speed up the reforestation, a process vital to getting the site back to its former state, Chevrolet is teaming up with the National Forest Foundation to plant 100,000 Engelmann spruce trees to give the forest a boost in regenerating itself. Not only will this help clean the air, but it provides ancillary benefits, such as cleaner water and recreation opportunities.

Without Chevrolet’s help, this area of the forest would likely not be reforested any time in the foreseeable future, adding to the nearly two million acres of National Forests that already are in need of being reforested due to wildfire. Because of the current budgetary environment, funding for these projects is a significant challenge.

This initiative — part of Chevrolet’s carbon-reduction commitment — will focus on a 250-acre area affected by the forest fire. The project will be monitored for 100 years in adherence to the American Carbon Registry standard, ensuring proper maintenance and carbon measurement throughout the life of the project. The total carbon-reduction goal for all of Chevrolet’s projects is estimated to equal the 2011 emissions created from driving the 1.9 million vehicles it expects to sell in the United States between Nov. 18, 2010 and Dec. 31, 2011.

Learn more about Chevy’s carbon-reduction initiative and contribute yourself by planting a virtual tree on your Facebook wall. For each tree planted, Chevrolet, in partnership with the National Forest Foundation, will plant a real tree in a U.S. forest next year, up to 175,000 total trees.