Plant Trees on Forest Service Contracts to Earn Money

Learn how planting trees on contract can help you make some extra cash.

| January/February 1977

The Halfway Ranger District of the Superior National Forest in northeastern Minnesota paid local people nearly $25,000 for planting trees last year.

Now this was only one district of just one forest located in a single state. Nationwide, the contracts let out for this important reforestation work must run into the millions of dollars annually. And I know of no reason why you shouldn't bid on — and win — one of those contracts for yourself. (Planting trees is healthful outdoor work ... it's good for the environment ... and a single contract for northern Minnesota's 30-day planting season can easily put a satisfying $1,000 into a homesteader's pocket.)

The fastest way to restore much of the forest land in this country — after logging, a burn-off, or other such disturbances — is by the hand planting of young trees. This requires a lot of man and woman power during a relatively short season. And, since the U.S. Forest Service doesn't have this kind of labor readily available within its organization, the job is usually contracted out to almost anyone who's willing to do the (admittedly "grunt") work in order to earn some extra money.

My family has taken on these contracts several times during the past few years and, at least up here in Minnesota where the planting is done in the early spring, we like them for two reasons: Setting the forests of the future into the ground is a great way to celebrate the end of winter, and the resulting boost to the pocketbook is always a help in carrying us through our homestead's early summer expenses.

Contact Your Regional Forester

The local District Ranger of the U.S. Forest Service is the man to contact if you want to bid on a tree planting job in your area. If you don't know who he is, write to the appropriate Regional Forester, state your interest in bidding on a contract, and ask for the information and help you'll need in order to place your bid.

Rangers at the Superior National Forest send maps and descriptions of upcoming areas to be reforested to prospective planters in the fall. This gives the workers a chance to look over each unit — as the tracts of land are called — before the snow flies.

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