You want to plant a forest where?
Halsey, Nebraska is best known for the 20,000 acres of hand-planted forest west of town. At the forest there are 36 campsite units with picnic tables, firegrates, nearby water and
toilets and trash dumpsters are available.
In 1890, Professor Charles E. Bessey, a professor of botany at the University
of Nebraska-Lincoln, proposed hand-planting a forest in the sandhills of western Nebraska. Originally called the Dismal River Forest Reserve, that forest, along with the North Platte
forest near the Pine Ridge area of Nebraska and the Niobrara Forest in North Central Nebraska, were declared the Nebraska National Forest by President Theodore Roosevelt.
An educational video about the forest is available here.
Today the Charles E. Bessey Tree Nursery, established in 1902, is the oldest Federal tree nursery. With its sandy soil and ample water supply, the nursery produces 2.5 million
seedlings and is the seed bank for the Rocky Mountain region of the United States. It is also part of the Nebraska Conservation Trees Program which provides trees to farmers and
ranchers throughout the plains. The Clark-McNary Act of 1924 ensures that the nursery makes the trees available at little or no cost to farmers and ranchers. Fire lanes were
introduced into the forest to help alleviate prairie fires from becoming forest fires. The fire lanes are approximately one mile wide and are available to ranchers for
cattle grazing for a fee. Good land management keeps these grazed areas from becoming sand blowholes.