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My Idaho: Lucky Peak Nursery keeping busy

Posted at 5:54 PM, Aug 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-16 08:41:46-04

BOISE, Idaho — Every year, forest fires destroy thousands of acres of land throughout the west, and every year, the Lucky Peak Nursery grows millions of trees on sixty acres of land.

The question is, can we keep up?

"Certainly, the way the forests burn has changed. The intensity of the burning has changed, and that has forced us to change the way we respond," says Sara Wilson, Lucky Peak Nursery's manager.

Wilson doesn't deal so much with the devastating end of things, but rather the start of them, working hard to bring some green back to the landscape.

It's a process that doesn't happen overnight. It all starts with a single seed.

"We actually have tree climbers or lift booms, they'll go up into the tree, collect cones, and then the idea is to collect enough seed to cover a burned area to replant for a ten-year period."

The cones then come back to the nursery where they're dried out.

"As you can see, I just flipped over and this one needs to be flared a little more, but then it will tumble, and this is the seed right here. That's what we want to fall out of the cone."

Then it goes in a bag and off to the freezer room that's filled with around 20,000 pounds of bags and bags of seeds. Those seedlings will eventually end up in huge warehouses where they will be sorted, watered, and cared for until they get shipped out to six western states, including Idaho.

Old trees in the forest will eventually give way to younger seedlings in the nursery where one day they will grow and thrive.