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Morocco delegates visit Oregon to study tree nursery management

OREGON — Six visitors from the Moroccan High Commission on Water, Forests, and Combating Desertification visited Oregon for one week in October to learn more about U.S. best practices in tree nursery management and seedling production. The visit was coordinated by the International Programs office with funding from the U.S. Department of State.

The group visited two Forest Service facilities: the Dorena Genetic Research Center and the Bend Seed Extractory- where Forest Service experts shared knowledge in seed selection and genetic diversity for tree seedling success. They also visited multiple private tree nurseries to explore different tree nursery management models in the U.S. At the end of the week they participated in the joint annual meeting of the Western Forestry and Conservation Nursery Association and the Pacific Northwest Reforestation Council “Seedling Success in the Field: Linking Nursery and Outplanting Practices.”

Morocco’s forests cover about 12percent of the country and are home to many unique and endangered plant and animal species. The Government of Morocco has recently made commitments to stemming an escalating deforestation rate that is driven primarily by an increased demand for wood products and uncontrolled, anthropogenic fires. The Forest Service cooperates with Morocco’s High Commission on Water, Forests, and Combating Desertification to support their reforestation efforts, with a focus on improving tree nursery management practices and increasing survival of planted seedlings. Current activities are funded by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Oceans, Environment, and Science, as part of the environmental chapter of the U.S.-Morocco Free Trade Agreement.

Kayla Herriman, Extractory Manager, explains the different seed extraction processes conducted at the Bend Seed Extractory to the visiting delegation. Forest Service photo.