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New Forests Start in Coeur d' Alene Nursery

USDA Forest Nursery

A 200-acre seed and plant nursery in Coeur d'Alene may play a key part in a new federal seed program to help fire-ravaged land recover.

The sprawling US Forest Service nursery has been extracting, cleaning and bagging conifer seeds for years now. Nursery superintendent Joe Meyers said it's one of the primary functions of the facility, and he's got about a ten-year supply of conifer seeds on hand.

So the new seed program, he said, fits right in with our work here.

Additionally, he foresees a busy spring with high demand for native plant seedlings - bare root and container plants - after winter snows finally snuff the last of the huge wildfires now rampaging in the region.

Meyers said the nursery can produce about 16-million seedlings of various types from outdoor seed beds, and another 4-million or so containerized plants in 17 big greenhouses.

His facility can also turn out about a million native plants yearly, including shrubs, native grass and sedge and large campground plants.

Meyers anticipates a surge in demand to rehabilitate burned areas, but he can't quickly ramp up production. Producing seedlings from seed takes about two years. "That's just the way nature works," he said.

Meyers said he's spent 38 years in the nursery business - and as he put it - I've watched cycles go up and down. And this year I see signs of great demand for delivery in the future.

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