Category: EQIP

Making Forests Healthier and Fire-Safe in the San Juan Islands

We are working with landowners in San Juan County to address the unique challenges of managing island forests for both ecological health and economic viability. Increasingly, forest owners in San Juan County are seeking guidance on how to manage their overstocked stands for improved forest health. They are also looking for creative ways to use the excess woody material that is a byproduct of restoration. For the past six years, NNRG and our partners have worked in many island forests, conducting one-on-one site visits, developing management plans, and hosting tours and classes. In 2018, we are hosting a series of workshops

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Celebrating Success: Improving Skagit Forests for Fish

The iconic Skagit Watershed provides critical resources to the Pacific Northwest region, including timber, food, and fish. Northwest Natural Resource Group (NNRG), Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and our partners are proud to celebrate the completion of a three-year project working with Skagit forest owners to protect habitat for the five salmon species that call the Skagit River system home. Family forest owners are maintaining good roads, removing barriers to fish passage, and protecting riparian buffers. These stewardship activities are helping sustain and restore the health of streams and forests in the Skagit basin and other priority watersheds in Puget

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Stewardship Assistance & Carbon Information for Family Forest Owners

The next application cutoff date is February 17, 2017 Northwest Natural Resource Group is collaborating with The Pinchot Institute for Conservation, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Ecotrust, and other partners on a USDA-funded project to unlock carbon markets for family forest owners.   This program can provide landowners with an initial carbon assessment and a carbon inventory. The inventory measures how much carbon your forest is storing. The program is completely voluntary. The information prepared specifically for your land may be useful when planning the future of your forest. Applying for NRCS funds does not obligate landowners to any carbon programs.   For forest owners who are interested

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Member Spotlight: Turning nothing into something

In our Member Spotlight series, we highlight Northwest Certified Forestry (NCF) members who have used forest products for unique and entrepreneurial purposes on their land and within their communities. Often these projects help members earn supplemental income. For the third installment in the series, we introduce you to Oak Basin Tree Farm, a Forest Stewardship Council® certified member of our group certificate, who has sourced non-timber forest products from their woods to local markets. Oak Basin Tree Farm Through much hard work and creative ideas, brothers Jim and Ed Merzenich have the seemingly magical ability to turn nothing into something. Their skills in alchemy are abundantly evident throughout the restoration work and the non-timber forest products

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Member Spotlight: A few sheep and EQIP help steward the forest

Steve and Linnea Bensel of Nootka Rose Farm steward 32 acres of forest on Waldron Island in the San Juans. In recent years, they accessed cost-share funds through the Natural Resources Conservation Service to develop a forest management plan and do a pre-commercial thinning in their forest. They also channel the appetites of a few woolly ruminants to stymy invasive ivy.  By Christina Davis and NNRG When asked how he came to acquire his land, Steve Bensel replied “I walked around with a shovel in my hand, digging holes until I found some dirt I liked”. Steve and his wife, Linnea, both grew up as stewards of the land: Linnea’s

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Announcement: 2016 EQIP Deadline Extension – October 16, 2015

Update! The 2016 EQIP Deadline in WA has been extended until October 16, 2015. That means you now have more time to develop your project proposals! EQIP is a cost-share reimbursement program that helps forest owners pay for a certain amount of a conservation practice by reimbursing landowners for a percentage of agreed to costs. UPDATE: The OR EQIP deadline is January 15, 2016. If you are interested in learning more about the EQIP program in general, visit our EQIP page. To learn more about the EQIP program in your state check out: NRCS EQIP information in Oregon NRCS EQIP information in Washington In addition to EQIP,

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Funding Forest Stewardship – Enhance Forest Health

For the third installment in the Funding Your Forest series, we’re focusing on ways to improve the diversity and productivity of your forest. Stewarding a forest that is diverse in species, age and size classes, with appropriate stocking densities is beneficial to the entire ecosystem – supporting resilience to diseases and pests, and boosts overall productivity. So to speak – it diversifies your forest’s investment portfolio. The objective of enhancing forest health can be accomplished in a variety of ways and typically includes: pre-commercial thinning, planting native trees and shrubs, and removing invasive species – mechanically or chemically. For example, forest stand improvement (EQIP code 666), or pre-commercial thinning, entails removing individual trees

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Funding Forest Stewardship – Fuel reduction and forest health

For the second installment in the Funding Your Forest series, we will be discussing fuel reduction and forest slash treatment as a means to improve forest health. We’ve identified cost-share programs, funding, and other resources, as well as information on how to do-it-yourself. We’re timing this series with the cutoff for 2016 EQIP funding in Washington State. This year, the Washington EQIP deadline is October 16, 2015. In Oregon, the cutoff to apply for 2016 funding is still to be determined. (We’ll keep folks updated.) Forest slash treatment is becoming a necessity in many forests due to historic fire suppression

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Special Announcement: Funding Forest Stewardship – Make a Plan

NNRG is kicking off a series about cost-share programs and resources available to woodland owners in Oregon and Washington. Over the next six weeks we’ll be sharing information about resources to fund stewardship activities in your forest. We’re focusing on the topics you’ve told us are important to you: developing management plans, improving timber quality, planting native trees and shrubs, removing invasive species, reducing fuel loads, and enhancing fish and wildlife habitat. We’re timing this series with the cutoff for 2016 EQIP funding in Washington State. This year, the Washington EQIP deadline is October 16, 2015. In Oregon, the cutoff

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Time to start thinking about 2016 EQIP projects

The Washington State cutoff for 2016 EQIP funding is Friday, July 17, 2015 (Edit: The 2016 EQIP deadline has been extended to October 16, 2015 in WA. The Oregon 2016 EQIP deadline is January 15, 2016.) The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is a technical and financial assistance program managed by the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. EQIP is a cost-share reimbursement program that helps forest owners pay for a certain amount of a conservation practice by reimbursing landowners for a percentage of agreed to costs. Forest owners use EQIP to pay for materials, equipment, consultants, and labor to complete practices (see the list below).

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Restoring Forest Along Willapa Bay

Forterra: Lynn Point and Nemah River, Pacific County, WA By: Christina Davis, edited by NNRG Northwest Certified Forestry (NCF) member Forterra, has long recognized the ecological importance of its forest reserve along Willapa Bay. Located at the confluence of the Nemah River and the estuary, the 300-acre forest contributes to a biological hotspot for migratory birds and endangered fish. But it took assistance from the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and NCF to develop a new stewardship plan for the land managed by the Seattle-based conservation organization. Now with a plan in place, Forterra is on a restoration journey to further

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EQIP and a Forest Classroom

Butler Family Forest, Olympia, WA Nestled along Pants Creek and the Capital Forest near Olympia sits a 40 acre FSC® certified forest owned by Paul and Peggy Butler, and Jim Stroh and Jan Yancy.  Paul, a retired Evergreen State College professor, and his partners bought the property from another former Evergreen professor in 1990 and believes that the property had not been thinned or logged in over fifty years. The property hosts a mix of mature Douglas-fir, western red cedar, western hemlock, red alder and big-leaf maple, as well as dense thickets of young, small diameter alder and vine maple.

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EQIP and A Family Forest

Sasquatch Farm, Montesano, WA By Neva Knott, edited by NNRG Often when we think of a family forest, we envision grandparents or parents passing the land from generation to generation. Some family forests grow differently, such as Sasquatch Farm, founded by brother and sister, Garry and Nancy Dale. In 2001, the siblings purchased the 60-acre farm nestled on the bank of the Wynoochee River near Montesano. The third of a mile of river frontage appealed to Garry, a fisherman and fish biologist; while Nancy was drawn to its proximity to her alma mater, Evergreen State College. The duo embarked on

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A Church’s Inheritance and EQIP

Bethlehem Lutheran Church forestland, Belfair, WA Story told by Neva Knott, edited by NNRG What would you do if you inherited over one hundred acres of forestland in need of restoration? Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Marysville, WA was faced with this quandary when a member of the congregation bequeathed 132 acres of Hood Canal forestland to the Church.   The land had been logged heavily in the 1970s and received minimal attention in the interim years. This lack of replanting and management of timberland on productive soils resulted in a tangle of brushy understory and densely growing trees; with nothing

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