Most reservation land was located where nobody else wanted to live. They are often extremely hot, cold, windy and/or dry. At Pine Ridge it is definitely all of them. Additionally, the agencies that have governed them over the last 100 years have generally been poorly funded and this is particularly true regarding management of our natural resources. Things like tree planting were just not a high enough priority to get funded and, as a result, the tree cover has slowly, but steadily declined after many decades of neglect.
Working with our ally Trees, Water & People, we decided to do something about that...
Ponderosa Pine seedlings
planted in 2015 within the
burned areas of Pine Ridge
trees planted in 2016 in Pine Ridge Reservation
trees planted in 2017 in Pine Ridge Reservation
trees planted in 2018. 3,500 of which were planted in the sacred vision questing lands of Bear Butte. Land used by the Lakota and several other tribes for these purposes for hundreds of years.
Planting trees gets our young people out taking care of their land. It is a powerful statement that we are now strong enough and caring enough to restore the land for the generations to come. Changing the world is not easy…but with enough effort, it is possible!