BOISE, Idaho — Idaho's forests will be a little greener soon - and not just because of spring.
The National Association of Realtors has made a pledge to plant one tree per member, sprouting 1.575 million trees across the country.
As part of the sustainability initiative, 215,000 trees will be planted in Idaho national forests. The announcement was made during a sustainability symposium in Boise on Friday.
"The impact of that many trees is going to be felt for years and years to come," president-elect of the National Association of Realtors, Tracy Kasper said.
The 215,000 trees planted will capture 107,500 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions over their lifetime - enough to offset the CO2 emissions of about 21,000 homes' electricity use for one year.
The initiative is in partnership with the National Forest Foundation, who will be planting the trees.
"Tree planting impacts wildlife habitat, water streams, watershed," director of the National Forest Foundation's reforestation program, Mindy Crowell said. "In a community like Boise that is so focused on recreation and getting out on our public lands, to come in and replant after our devastating wildfire seasons - this is going to really positively impact our recreation areas as well."
The trees will be planted to bolster reforestation efforts in the Boise National Forest and Nez-Pearce Clearwater National Forest, to help them recover from the 2016 Pioneer Fire and 2021 Johnson Creek Fire.
Those forests, trees and geography are what Idaho is known for - allowing more people to enjoy recreating in the Gem State's outdoors.
"These trees that we're planting, while they will be in our forests, they really will have that ramification of all of us across Idaho," Kasper said.
Kasper is from Nampa, and knows that part of Idaho's charm is our trees.
She also said the housing market has now stabilized.
"What's great is that we've seen over the last, probably 12 months, a normalization," Kasper said. "Kind of a correction in the market that brought us back to what is normal and sustainable."
That's good news for those who are branching out to buy a home.
"We have two of our biggest demographic buyer pools - one is the baby boomers, the other is our millennials. Those two buyer pools are really choosing the same type of home," Kasper said. "They want a small footprint, they want to be able to drop the keys on the weekends and go play. So, the idea that we need to look at building different and zoning different, and really bring a different product because of those two big demographics. We have some big changes on the horizon - and they're good changes."
The National Forest Foundation also has a Sapling Program where small businesses and organizations can support tree planting.
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