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Bringing back the green

September 14, 2009

Re "Mt. Wilson learns lesson," Sept. 10, and "Backfire is set to keep flames from foothill towns," Sept. 11

The devastating fires in Los Angeles have many people wondering how they can help. One way is by replanting trees that have been lost.

We at TreePeople have been bringing volunteers to replant and care for local forests since the 1970s, and we are preparing for restoration efforts ahead.

Once the fires are under control, we hope to work with the U.S. Forest Service as it assesses the damage, and determine where volunteer resources are most needed.

It's hard not to feel powerless in the face of so much loss. The good news is that there will be volunteer opportunities to help heal the mountains where and when human intervention is most needed.

Andy Lipkis

Venice

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A brief note about the Station fire and others: Following our fires in the Santa Barbara hillsides, the hiking trails were closed until they were deemed safe.

My first trip back up the mountain was across a surreal moonscape of burnt tree trunks and absolute silence; the fires had left the ground barren of anything but ash.

Within weeks, however, the stubble of green shoots and leaves began to appear, as though someone had tied them onto the charred branches. Now, there is the sound of birds, of insects, and of lizards scurrying by.

Nature is amazingly resilient, and the regeneration of greenery and life will occur. It is soul-soothing to witness environmental regeneration in the aftermath of man's idiotic acts of arson.

Loretta Redd

Santa Barbara

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