This hoedad tree planting tool inspired a name given to tree planting cooperatives of environmentalist tree planters who planted millions of tree seedlings from 1968 to 1994. The most notable cooperative was called Hoedads Reforestation Cooperative and based in Eugene, Oregon. The planters were called "hoedads".
The timber industry and the U.S. Forest Service provided both land and incentive monies during the late 1960's through the early 1990's to encourage reforestation of cutover lands. It opened up opportunities for private contractors to enter the tree planting business. There was money to be made for someone who enjoyed the outdoors, was in good physical health and could plant 500 to 1000 trees per day on steep ground.
Enter the cooperative...
Hoedads Reforestation Cooperative (HRC), the largest of the co-ops was established by a Peace Corp volunteer and thrived as a tree planting cooperative for over 30 years. Independent tree planter contractors were able to make millions of dollars (and plant millions of trees) through this planter-owned cooperative. According to Roscoe Caron, a former tree planter and Hoedad president, HRC was also "instrumental in breaking the males-only ethic of forest work, questioning the wisdom of monoculture reforestation and challenging the liberal use of herbicides."
In celebration of the 30-year Hoedad reunion (in 2001), the Eugene Weekly and Lois Wadsworth compiled some of the most detailed information on Hoedads to date. Read Tree Planters: The Mighty Hoedads, Back for a 30-year Reunion, Recall Their Grand Experiment.
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