PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Oregon’s 2020 wildfire season burned through a massive 1.2 million acres, leading to widespread deforestation in the state. Oregon lawmakers have since worked with the Department of Forestry to help local tree nurseries recover from the damage that was caused by giving them a $4.4 million grant.

ODF announced the grant in a news release on Tuesday. The department said that it received the money from the state legislature after House Bill 5006 was passed in June 2021.

The state of Oregon passed the bill to support the Oregon Water Resources Department and Oregon Consensus’ efforts to “develop a framework and path for state-supported water planning and management at the water region and/or basin level.”

HB 5006 and the grant also help to overcome the many challenges to reforesting Oregon, such as money, labor and growing and storing seedlings.

According to ODF, the $4.4 million grant was disbursed across 10 nurseries. In order to qualify for the funds, the nurseries “had to have experience growing high-quality commercial conifer trees for reforestation” in the state. This includes some fir trees, which had a never-before-seen mortality rate in 2022.

Brooks Tree Farm in Salem, Trillium Gardens in Eugene and Lava Nursery, Inc., are among the 10 tree nurseries benefitting from the new grant, with $238,000 being the lowest distribution amount and $540,000 being the highest. Find out how much they all received here.

“The funding will allow Lava Nursery, Inc. to increase seedling production for the small woodland owners, helping them to meet their reforestation needs after forest fires and/or harvest operations,” Assistant Nursery Manager Jeff Snyder said.

He added that the funds would also allow the nursery to buy more freezer space to store the tree seedlings long-term.

ODF Reforestation Program Project Coordinator Astrea Strawn said the nurseries are required to use their grants before the summer ends.