Author: Alex Dolk

Controlling and Identifying Invasive Woodland Plants

RESOURCES FOR IDENTIFYING AND CONTROLLING FLORA NON GRATA IN YOUR WOODLANDS Invasive plants such as the ones listed on this page can damage natural resources. They can quickly erode biodiversity in woodlands and reduce wildlife habitat by overtaking and toppling trees, eroding streambanks, crowding out and shading out native plant species, and even changing soil chemistry. On this page we’ve compiled some resources for woodland owners dealing with invasive species. There are many more resources out there, particularly through university extension service websites like this one from WSU Extension.   An ounce of prevention… Figuring out how to deal with

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A Conservation Agreement for Fisher and Forest Owners

Header image via ForestWander. The fisher (Pekania pennanti) is a small, carnivorous mammal native to North American forests, a member of the weasel family with quick reflexes and great climbing skills. It’s roughly the size of a housecat, and is indisputably cute. Though now very rare in the Pacific Northwest as a result of habitat loss, hunting, and rodenticide poisoning, efforts are underway to reintroduce fishers into areas within their historical range. In Washington, fisher reintroductions have taken place in Olympic National Park and in the Cascade range, most recently in November 2021 near Lake Ozette. Gary Elmer and Jackie Gardner

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An EQIP Success Story from Shaw Island, Washington

Around 200 people call Shaw Island home, among them Lynn Bahrych, formerly a Commissioner for the Washington State Conservation Commission and co-chair of the Washington State Soil Health Committee. Lynn is steward and owner of Osprey Pond, a 64-acre forest and wildlife pond on the northwestern end of the island. With financial support from the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), Lynn has embarked on a project to transform her tinderbox “wall of trees” into a fire- and climate-resilient forest that more closely resembles the natural, fire-adapted forest of millennia past.

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A Holiday Bough Harvest at Nisqually Community Forest

NNRG recently facilitated a unique harvest at Nisqually Community Forest, a community-owned and community-managed forest at the foothills of Mount Rainier.  The Community Forest is the site of a project that is testing the effects of thinning to different densities on a stand’s ability to adapt to the hotter, drier climate of the future. In November, a thinning crew hand-felled small-diameter trees to create more room for the remaining trees to grow and reduce competition for water and nutrients. A member of the thinning crew hand fells a fir in a thick patch of forest that’s being used in a

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A Field Guide to Forester’s Tools

A forester walks into the woods carrying diameter tape, an increment borer, and a GPS… No, it’s not the opening to a joke or a riddle — it’s the start of a typical workday in the field for an NNRG foresters, who never leave home without a few important pieces of forestry gear. Several of these items are readily accessible at your local forestry and farm suppliers and could be gear staples for landowners who monitor or inventory their forest. Read on to learn a bit more about what our foresters are carrying around while they’re working in the woods

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NNRG Staff Book Picks!

For compelling holiday reading, start here. We asked NNRG staff to send over their top book recommendations in the forestry/ecology genre. The list includes fiction and non-fiction, classics and new hits.  NNRG Director of Programs Rowan recommends: Eating Dirt: Deep Forests, Big Timber, and Life with the Tree-Planting Tribe by Charlotte Gill Gill uses stories about the many seasons she spent planting trees in British Columbia to dig into the history, science, and economics of tree planting. At the same time, she includes some beautiful descriptions of Cascadia ecology that will be familiar to many of our members. A good read

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Revisiting the Skokomish Tribe’s FSC-Certified Harvest

Skokomish Park at Lake Cushman is a scenic, 500-acre forest and campground on Lake Cushman in the Olympic Peninsula. Every year hundreds of campers visit the park to swim and fish on over 8 miles of freshwater shoreline and to hike and bike over 9 miles of trails. You wouldn’t know it from visiting, but Skokomish Park has gone through a number of legal changes over the years, ending in a land transfer as part of a large settlement. This settlement centered around the relicensing of two Tacoma Public Utilities operated dams on the North Fork of the Skokomish River,

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Getting to the Root (Rot) of the Forest

Phil Aponte has always loved forests.  When he was an interpretive ranger for Mount Rainier National Park, Phil had the chance to walk the woods with renowned forest ecologist Dr. Jerry Franklin. Jerry took a group of park rangers into a stand of old-growth forest and had the rangers lie down to observe their surroundings. As Jerry spoke, Phil recalls spotting a flying squirrel in the trees and feeling a great sense of peace. In that moment he knew he would steward a forest someday. Grove of the Patriarchs at Mount Rainier National Park. Photo by Jeff Gunn via Flickr

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Raising 5,200 Children by Shovel and Machete

This January the Hansons embarked on a large reforestation project on their forest near Olympia, Washington. Comprising 18 acres and 5,200 seedlings, it’s been their most ambitious planting job to date — one that has had Hanson parents, kids, and grandkids weathering much of the current pandemic from deep in the forest.

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Seeing the Forest for the Tech

Advances in tech seem to happen so rapidly it can be hard to keep up. Super-efficient heavy machinery, digital applications, remote sensing & mapping tools, and drone technology have changed the way we manage forests.

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Beavers, Bobcats, and Bears, Oh My!

If a bear ambles through a forest while no one’s watching, was it really there? Thanks to wildlife cams — and our understanding of the metaphysical possibility of unperceived existence — we know that bear was really there!

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Resources for Building Wildlife Nesting & Roosting Boxes

In Pacific Northwest forests, dead wood works wonders for wildlife. But when there isn’t enough naturally occurring dead wood around, you might need to do some woodworking yourself. Wood duck carefully inspecting a nesting box. Photo by Mark Biser. Snags—standing dead or dying trees—are important forest structures for cavity-dependent birds and small mammals, food sources for woodpeckers and other foragers, and slowly release nutrients into the ecosystem with the help of decomposers. But second and third-growth forests often lack sufficient snags because they were removed during previous intensive forest management, or the few remaining are in advanced stages of decay.

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Women in the Woods: Then and Now

Here we are at the beginning of National Women’s History Month, this Sunday is International Women’s Day (March 8th), and it feels like the right time to shout from the rooftops how important women are to sustaining healthy forests. That fact doesn’t change when March ends — so we promise not to stop shouting it!

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Keeping an Eye on the Back 40

Regular, rigorous monitoring is an important part of good forest stewardship. No one knows this better than Chris Goodman. Chris and his family own and take care of Back40 Quinault Forest, an aptly named 40-acre forest near Lake Quinault in Grays Harbor County. Since acquiring the forest in 2008, monitoring has been a critical component of how Chris manages his forest. In conversation Chris mentions monitoring canopy closure, seedling growth, trees per acre, soil pH, and air temperature—not to mention elk browse, camera trap photos, bird box usage, elk herd movements, and bear damage. (Phew!) His strategy has its roots

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Forestry for the Generations

Ayers’ Last Stand has roots that go four generations deep. When Matt Patton and his kids play in their forest, they’re climbing, hiding, and running around some of the same trees Matt’s great-great-grandfather knew. Matt’s kids are the sixth generation in his family to experience the forest—known as Ayers’ Last Stand—and likely not the last. Today the forest’s 210 acres are FSC®-certified through NNRG’s group certificate. But Ayers’ Last Stand came into being long before FSC® existed, when the family of Matt’s maternal great-great-grandfather moved from Connecticut to Thurston County in the 1890s. “They started farming on some of the

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