When a wildfire destroys the forest on your property, what are your options for restoring what has been lost?
DroneSeed will fly a squad of aerial seed-dispersing robots to lay the foundations of a new forest on top of those that have been set on fire.
With 57 pounds of tree seed, the drones weigh more than 100 pounds in total and operate in teams of five using satellite-guided software to identify hundreds of “microsites,” areas where trees are expected to grow best.
DroneSeed, which holds the only license from the Federal Aviation Administration to operate “swarms of heavy lift drones,” can seed the soil 6 times faster than seedlings that are planted by hand, covering about 40 acres per day at a cost about $ 275 to $ 400 per acre.
This may seem like a lot, but in addition to saving a great deal of time, much of the cost can be offset by the discounts offered by DroneSeed if they can successfully offer land reforestation as carbon credits on the global carbon market. This can help make the cost of planting seedlings 60-70% less than that of traditional reforestation.
“We are always looking for ways to innovate, especially when you can help us increase the pace and scale of habitat restoration to benefit both nature and people,” says Jay Kerby, project manager at natural conservation, who was able to contract DroneSeed for the reforestation of the state of Oregon after a recent fundraising event.
Right now, the company is in beta testing for its software, but the team feels it’s a game changer that can be used to fully update the playbook on how to combat global climate emissions.
“All over the world there has been a lot of slash and burn agriculture, so how can it be re-planted in a profitable way? And that’s where our technology comes in, ”says Grant Canary, CEO of DroneSeed.
One obvious implication is restoration after wildfires on public lands, for which DroneSeed would save taxpayers a lot of money if contracted. But not all American forests are owned by the government, and for a private owner, DroneSeed could be of great help.
For those for whom forests act as a livelihood as a source of wood, honey, resin, mushrooms, or other agroforestry products, there is a chance that their business will end if a forest fire moves through their land. But the vast amount of work, time and costs saved by DroneSeed technology provides the opportunity to not only have their forests grow back, but also their lives.
(WATCH Mashable’s video on DroneSeed below).
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