Working Together

Penny Pines Reforestation Program


Due to COVID-19, the Forest Headquarters Supervisors Office is closed and Penny Pines donations cannot be processed at this time. When the office reopens, we will be able to process Penny Pines checks and issue certificates. Please check back in January 2022. Contact Jennifer Gray (805) 448-6487 or email: for more information.

National Forests in California

The national forests in California cover some 20 million acres, or about 1/5 of the state. That is equal to an area just slightly larger than the state of South Carolina . Stretching from the Mexican border to Oregon, these forests include a variety of terrain and vegetation types. These areas of great beauty and majestic stature are plagued by divesting problems, such as natural and man-caused fire, pests and disease. These cause vast depletion and destruction of the national forests in California.

It takes thousands of firefighters and hundreds of pieces of specialized equipment working long hours to control these blazing infernos. Fires like these leave total destruction in their wake.

As destructive as fires are, disease and insect infestation destroy seven times more forest vegetation annually than fires because forests pests are scattered and not easily detected, so are harder to control.

In time some land may recover naturally. Penny Pines provides a helping hand. It is a conservation program in which everyone can participate.

History of the Penny Pines Reforestation Program

In 1941, California's first Penny Pines plantation was sponsored by the San Francisco Sportswomens' Association.

Recognizing the great need to restore these devastated areas, the Association sent their donation to the Shasta-Trinity National Forest in northern California.

Since that contribution, the number of participating groups and individuals has grown each year. They include such organizations as the Garden and Womens' Clubs, Boy and Girl Scouts of America, civic and sportsmens clubs, and many others.

Why the Penny Pines donation is $68.00

At the start of the program in 1941, seedlings could be produced for about one cent each. Approximately 680 seedlings were used to plant a typical acre. For $68.00, seedlings for ten acres could be purchased. Site preparation and planting costs were met through regular Forest Service appropriations.

The Penny Pines program was so successful that money contributed to purchase seedlings soon far exceeded appropriated funds available for site preparation and for the actual planting job.

In 1964, the original cooperative agreement was rewritten to provide that funds contributed under the Penny Pines program be used for reforestation, rather than solely for purchasing seedlings.

How Penny Pines helps the National Forest

Over the years these groups have contributed more than a million dollars to the Penny Pines Reforestation Program. Through these donations, more than 27 million of seedlings have been planted, renewing 88,000 acres of national forest land in California - truly an outstanding achievement.

In southern California, contributions may be used to prepare plantation sites for new trees or planting seedlings grown in Forest Service nurseries throughout California. Seedlings are grown from local seeds and acorns, and replanted near the areas where the seeds were collected to improve their chance of survival. The funds may also be used to maintain existing tree stands and improve wildlife habitat. Plantations are important for watershed protection, soil stabilization and shade for recreation areas. Any of these activities may be funded through Penny Pines donations.

The Penny Pines Reforestation Program plays a vital role both in renewing the national forests in California, and in multiple-use management. 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 $68.00 may be made to a specific National Forest. The Los Padres National Forest has three Ranger Districts where Penny Pines are utilized.

The funds are deposited into a Penny Pines Reforestation account, drawn upon as improvement projects are determined by resource managers.

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

Your donation to the Penny Pines Project will help bring new life into your National Forest!

Please support the program by mailing your tax-deductible contribution to: 

Los Padres National Forest
Attn: Jennifer Gray, Penny Pines Coordinator
1980 Old Mission Drive
Solvang, CA 93463

(805) 448-6487


*Make your check payable to USDA - Forest Service


Name: ______________________________________________________________

Mailing Address: ______________________________________________________

City: ________________________________ State: _______ Zip Code: __________

Phone Number: ________________________

E-Mail Address: ____________________________________

I have enclosed a donation of $_____________

Please make checks payable to: USDA-Forest Service