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A major nature restoration project is underway in the Angeles National Forest, and the nonprofit organization TreePeople is leading the way with its volunteers working to replant nearly 54,000 native plants and trees.

In collaboration with the California Botanic Garden, they are maintaining approximately 1,000 acres of forest over four years with the help of a $7 million Cal Fire grant.

“Our goal is to transform a space from a degraded habitat to a functioning habitat,” said Alyssa Walker of TreePeople.

TreePeople volunteers work to remove invasive mustard plants to make room for native trees and plants in the Angeles National Forest.


A series of wildfires, including the Bobcat Fire of 2020, the Copper Fire of 2002, the Sayre Fire of 2008 and the Ranch Fire of 2007, left significant scars on the land where invasive plants took over – again posing a fire hazard.

Recently, volunteers worked in an area near Santa Clarita that was burned by the 2002 Copper Fire, eradicating chaparral, an invasive mustard plant.

“We’re going to remove all the mustard, remove all the invasive species and put in some native species,” said Stephanie Liu of TreePeople. “This area that we have now is going to dry out once it gets hot, and then it’s very prone to fire. Basically, it’s just going to be a pile of firewood, as we like to call it.”

The restoration project requires approximately 12,000 volunteers to plant native plants and remove invasive chaparral plants on forest land.

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