Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles (pensive pop music) - [Narrator] About a third of the United States is covered in forests. In places like Colorado, those forests are in danger. (flames crackling) There's fire. - [Woman] Our wildfires are getting more frequent and larger. - [Narrator] A devastating beetle infestation. - Those trees are all dead. They don't have any branches anymore. They're just standing sticks. - [Narrator] And global warming. There is hope, and it's found in an unlikely place. - When I tell people that I work at a forest in Nebraska, they usually laugh and they're like, "Nebraska has a forest?" (upbeat orchestral music) - [Narrator] Richard Gilbert is a man on a quest. He's a biological scientist who works here, at the Charles Bessey Nursery in Halsey, Nebraska. It's the oldest federal tree nursery in the U.S. The nursery's main mission is to help preserve and repopulate national forests in the Rocky Mountain region. - Without Bessey, they're not gonna be able to have the supply of trees that they need for reforestation. If they have a catastrophe, we can be there to help them. What I love most about my job is really the change in season and the change in work that I do. I get to work in the seed bank, I get to work in the container part of this, and I get to work in the field, and I get to actually get my hands dirty. I don't just sit in an office and push paper. - Richard's amazing. He really cares and he's always trying to make it better. - We turn the greenhouses on, you got little seedlings germinating. To me, it's spring. So, my spring starts really early and it's extremely rewarding. - He's very proud of his work. He's very proud of his trees. - I love growing plants and helping them grow. I don't ever wanna lose that contact with the plants. When they need 'em, we grow 'em, and we get 'em produced in less than a year. All of the trees are produced in the greenhouses and then they are brought in here on tables. This Y is okay 'cause it's above halfway and we have a central leader. We can pack 110,000 to 120,000 trees per belt per day. We're packing container trees for the San Juan National Forest. They don't get their moisture in the spring a lotta times. They get their summer monsoon seasons. That's when they want their seedlings delivered. - Richard remembers all of this information and wants the feedback and wants to know how they did. At our best, we might get 70%, 80% survival. - Without Bessey, they're not gonna be able to have the supply of trees that they need for reforestation. Plants are just amazing and there are so many of 'em out there, and I will never know how to grow every single one. If it's a very, very interesting plant, I'll try to produce it and grow it at the house. And if you guys drive by my house over there, you'll understand; you'll see all of the different plants that I have over there.