Penny Pines

Stand of trees burned in the Angora Fire

California's National Forests are often plagued by problems such as wildfires, drought, pests and disease. Penny Pines is a program that provides a way for the public to contribute to the reforestation of these areas of great beauty. The Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit maintains several Penny Pines plantations and welcomes donations to continue this important program.

As destructive as fires can be, disease and insect infestation destroy seven times more forest vegetation annually than fires. Forest pests are more difficult to control due to being scattered and not easily detected. With time, land may recover naturally, but donations to the Penny Pines program help significantly.


History of the Penny Pines Reforestation Program

In 1941, the nation's first Penny Pines plantation was sponsored by the San Francisco Sportswomen's Association. Recognizing the great need to restore forest areas devastated by wildfires and other disasters, the association sent a donation to the Shasta-Trinity National Forest in Northern California for the forest to purchase tree seedlings.

Since that contribution, the number of groups and individuals that help raise funds for Penny Pines has grown each year. They include such organizations as the Garden and Women's Clubs, Boy and Girl Scouts of America, civic and sportsmen's clubs, and many others. Donations can also be sent directly to individual forests.

Other states have cooperative planting programs, but the Penny Pines Program is unique to California. Almost every National Forest in the state has a Penny Pines Plantation. A sign at each plantation lists the organizations and individuals that have donated to that particular site.


Why the minimum Penny Pines donation is $68

At the start of the program in 1941, seedlings could be produced for about 1 cent each. Approximately 680 seedlings were used to plant a typical acre, and so seedlings for 10 acres could be purchased for $68.

Site preparation and planting costs were met through regular Forest Service appropriated funding. The Penny Pines program was so successful that money contributed to purchase seedlings soon far exceeded available appropriated funds. So in 1964, the original cooperative agreement was expanded to allow funds contributed under the Penny Pines program to be used for other reforestation activities, rather than solely for purchasing seedlings.

Today, the minimum donation remains $68, even though this amount now plants somewhat less than one acre.


How Penny Pines helps the National Forest

Over the years more than $1 million has been contributed to the Penny Pines Program. Through these donations, more than 27 million seedlings have been planted, renewing 88,000 acres of National Forest land in California--truly an outstanding achievement. Plantations are important for watershed protection, soil stabilization and shade for recreation areas. Trees help the ground store precious water, protect against soil erosion, and add to the scenic beauty of the National Forests.


How to make donations to the Penny Pines program

A minimum donation of $68 may be made to a specific National Forest. The funds are deposited into a Penny Pines Reforestation account, and drawn upon as improvement projects are determined by resource managers. Your donation to the Penny Pines Program will help bring new life into our National Forest!

A certificate of appreciation and thank you note are sent to each donor.

Please support the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit by printing this form and mailing it with your tax-deductible contribution to:


Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit
35 College Drive
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
Attn:  Penny Pines Coordinator


Name: ____________________________________________________

Mailing Address: ____________________________________________

City: ___________________________ State: ____ Zip Code: __________

Phone Number: ________________________

E-Mail Address: ____________________________________

I have enclosed a donation of $_____________


Make checks payable to:  US Forest Service

Thank you for your support of the Penny Pines Program!