The Forest Development program is capable of raising and storing around 1,000,000 seedlings each year, from the Forest Development Center in Red Lake. The vast majority of the seedlings are planted on Red Lake lands. A strong focus of the Forest Development program is to restore acres to pine types that have converted to hardwood and aspen types.
The seedlings planted are red pine, white spruce, jack pine, and white pine. Most of the forest development work is focused on establishing and maintaining forest tree plantations. Young plantations may be replanted each year until full vegetative density is achieved. Most planting work is contracted out to tribal members. Other activities include release of plantations from competing vegetation, using brush saws or chainsaws, pre-commercial thinning of young pine stands, and timber stand improvement cuts in hardwood stands. Some of this work is completed by the fire crew, but much of this work is contracted out to tribal members.
Forest development works closely with other forestry programs to establish and maintain forest plantations. Forest development also works to rehabilitate sites that were damaged by fire, if natural regeneration is not going to be sufficient.