Category: From the Blog

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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A Field Guide to Harvest Equipment

The forests of the Pacific Northwest are teeming with movement and noise—not all of it animal in origin! Stroll through an NNRG member forest undergoing an ecological harvest or thinning and you might catch a glimpse of one of these logging machines (don’t forget to wear appropriate safety-gear!).

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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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Stossel Creek Case Study: Adaptive Restoration for Pacific Northwest Forests

Climate Change in the Pacific Northwest A changing climate can lead landowners to wonder how to increase the resilience of lands and forests to changing conditions around heat and moisture. The question is no longer if the climate is changing, but rather how fast and how much – and what the impact will be on local forests. Our current forest management practices rely on some basic assumptions about climate, especially around temperature and precipitation. While projections will shift with time and vary by site, on average the future climate in the Pacific Northwest is expected to be warmer with drier

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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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2020 Winter/Spring Native Plant Sales

The winter wet season in the Pacific Northwest is an ideal time to plant young trees and native shrubs! Planting native trees and shrubs enhances forest biodiversity by providing habitat for wildlife and forage for pollinators. It’s also a great way connect to the land and increase your aesthetic and recreational appreciation for the forest.

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The (Life and) Death Cycle of the Salmon

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If you’re hoping to spot salmon in the forest this season, a creek or river is your best bet. But if you limit your searches to fin-spotting at the water’s edge, you’re missing out on the full experience. Don’t forget to look to the trees.

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Helping Your Forest Through Dry Times

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.

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Seeking Forest Owners for New Study

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.

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Prepare Your Home and Forest for Wildfire

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.

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From Tinderbox to Fire-Resilient Forest

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

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Forest Bats of the Pacific Northwest

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

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Forest Recipes for the Adventurous

You’ve probably heard of stinging nettle tea — how about stinging nettle pesto? Japanese knotweed hummus? These six recipes draw from the bounty found in Pacific Northwest forests – both wild and urban lands.

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Prepare Your Forest for a Warmer Future With Rhus diversiloba

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

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Family Forests as a Natural Capital Endowment

​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.

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