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Category: From the Blog
Climate change poses significant challenges for small forest owners in the Northwest. NNRG is hosting this workshop to help foresters and other land managers consider climate adaptation concepts and strategies in their management practices to meet their clients’ goals and sustain forests into the future.
The drier and hotter years ahead don’t have to spell trouble for the forests you steward. From recognizing and responding to drought stress in trees to planting tree species from other regions, there are steps you can take to mitigate the impacts of climate change in your forest.
You know better than anyone what kind of management work you’ve done in your forest, and what sorts of financial and ecological results its produced. Your closest forest-owning neighbor might have taken a different approach but ended up with similar results.
Fire is as natural a part of Pacific Northwest forests as the rain and sun. And while the type and frequencies of wildfire differs east and west of the Cascades, landowners everywhere can prepare their homes and forests for wildfire if it arrives.
Tree by tree, Tierra Learning Center is coaxing 250 acres of dark dense woods into open forests with room for larger trees and resilience to wildfire. Tucked amid the picturesque hills of Sunitsch Canyon, just a few miles up the Chumstick Valley outside of Leavenworth, there is a collaborative community of artists, educators, learners, farmers, and land stewards. This is Tierra Learning Center, a member of NNRG’s Forest Stewardship Council® group certificate, where care takers are carrying out fuel reduction and thinning projects to protect the community and help the forest regain characteristics of wildfire resilience. Signpost with some of Tierra
Imagine stepping into your forest at night and being utterly swarmed by flies, mosquitoes, beetles, and moths. Glad that’s not the case? Thank a bat. Bats flit through our Pacific Northwest forests every night, but it’s easy to forget they exist. After all, we almost never encounter them (except on October 31st, when they appear taped to our windows, carved into pumpkins, and ringing our doorbells begging for candy). And yet—if all bats disappeared overnight, we’d likely notice their absence very quickly as insect populations boomed and our evening walks became nightly games of “let’s see who can carry on a
As the climate changes, it isn’t enough to think about the species that make up the tree canopy. [Editor’s note: This post first appeared on *wink* April 1, 2019.] We must consider the understory as well — currently composed of a variety of species in western Washington, from devil’s club and skunk cabbage on the wetter sites to evergreen huckleberry, sword fern and salal in drier locations. Immediately after harvest, in gaps that are left in the forest, we can expect species such as red alder and fireweed to take root. But in several decades, climatologists tell us that western
My family’s forestlands have grown to just over 200 acres in the past few years. Thirty of this is what I refer to as our “homestead” property, the first parcel my wife and I bought when we barely had two nickels to rub together in our mid-20’s, and on which we’ve recently completed a family cabin. The other 170 or so acres are comprised of two additional parcels that are part of the “Hanson Family Estate”, forestlands that my parents have invested in, and that I manage as a trust endowment for our family.
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 efforts. 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, NNRG hosted a series of workshops
These days, typical New Year resolutions include exercising more and making time to be outside with nature. It’s also common for forest owners to have a “been meaning to do” list for their land. Thus, forest owners are especially fortunate as they can accomplish three goals in one effort by getting out for a walk in their woods to spend time in nature and observe their forest. All the better that they can prioritize forest stewardship activities for the new year.
Even as the area of Forest Stewardship Council®-certified forestland in Washington and Oregon has grown, it hasn’t become any easier to find certified building materials in the Pacific Northwest. That difficulty was undermining one of certification’s main goals: to enable wood buyers to send a market signal to forest owners and foresters that says, “We want our wood to come from forests managed for ecological and social benefit as well as sustainable wood production.” So NNRG set out to build a tool that would make it easier for consumers to find building materials that bear the FSC® stamp, from lumber
Many public agencies offer funding to help forest owners pay for stewardship activities and realize their woodland goals. Whether you envision a habitat-rich stand bursting with forage shrubs and large snags; a business plan for timber harvest on your land; or an aesthetic retreat replete with meandering trails, there’s funding available to help you get there.
Wildfire risk across San Juan County is at an all-time high – largely due to increasingly overstocked forests. Thinning excess woody biomass from densely stocked forests can reduce wildfire risk while presenting an opportunity for local, sustainable energy production.
We are fortunate that many Forest Stewardship Council®-certified forests in the Pacific Northwest are open for public enjoyment. These lands offer an opportunity for all of us to know what healthy forests look and feel like. Here’s a list of FSC-certified forests that are open to the public.
Much of NNRG’s effort this spring has focused on our work for the Skokomish Tribe on the Tribe’s forestland located at the south end of Hood Canal. To help the Tribe achieve its management goals, we’ve completed a timber appraisal and are planning the first commercial thinning on tribal lands in a couple decades. NNRG is applying the “thin from below” method in the commercial timber harvest: harvesting smaller, suppressed trees and leaving the larger dominant trees with more light, space and nutrients to thrive. We’ll also be removing trees displaying signs of root rot to help reduce the spread of the