Category: From the Blog

Estate Planning Advice from A Family Forest

Planning what happens to your land after you pass on is a critical part of good forest stewardship. If you don’t plan to sell your land or pass it on to another family member, you’ll need to figure out not just how it will be managed in the future, but who will manage it. That involves a lot of decisions, and likely a lot of outside help. But even if you do plan to leave the land to your kids or other family members, don’t assume that transition will happen smoothly on its own.

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Restoring watershed ecosystems at Tarboo Forest

Northwest Watershed Institute (NWI), a Port Townsend-based non-profit, leads the work to regrow old-growth forests in the uplands of Tarboo Creek and re-establish forested wetlands in the floodplain. Over the years, NWI has quilted together Tarboo Wildlife Preserve, 396 acres in the Tarboo valley near Quilicene, Washington.

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GO WITH THE SNOW: WINTER FOREST MONITORING RESULTS

The future is looking drier, and the trees are taking notice. With climate change creating warmer and drier summers, how can we use forestry techniques to increase snowpack and slow snowmelt for water availability? This question led us at NNRG to create an experiment in practical forestry methods, in collaboration with several partners.

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Camp Robbinswold: Growing the Next Generation of Trees and Leaders

Nestled on the edge of the Olympic Peninsula about halfway down Hood Canal, Camp Robbinswold includes 570 acres of young, older, and mixed-age forest that is Forest Stewardship Council® certified through NNRG’s FSC® group certificate. The camp property includes 1.5 miles of shoreline and tidelands, a 10-acre freshwater lake, 350 acres of forest managed for sustainable timber production, and 220 acres of forest set aside for conservation.  For nearly 100 years, Camp Robbinswold has drawn campers from western Washington (and far beyond), who explore the camp’s shores and forests whilst learning leadership skills, practicing outdoor recreation basics, expanding their ecological

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Read an Excerpt of our Forthcoming Book: Everyone’s Guide to Ecological Forestry

A new and unique project is underway for NNRG: we’re writing a book! Co-authored by NNRG’s Executive Director Seth Zuckerman and Director of Forestry Kirk Hanson, and published by Mountaineers Books, the book will be a “how-to” manual for forest owners that teaches them to notice the natural qualities of their land, decide how to care for it, and roll up their sleeves to keep it healthy for the next generation. The anticipated publication date is spring 2024. The introduction to the book—authored by Seth Zuckerman—is published below. I cut my forest teeth during the late 1980s and ’90s, a time

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ARE WE OLD GROWTH YET? NNRG TURNS 30!

Since its founding in 1992, NNRG has been led and staffed by a small, rotating band of idealists and innovators. 30 years later, though the team remains small, the impact of our work has spread as swiftly as a field of salmonberry that’s found a gap in the canopy. When NNRG sprouted 30 years ago in Port Townsend, it went by another name: the Olympic Peninsula Foundation, or OPF. In the early part of the 1990s, OPF was focused on improving salmon habitat and stream restoration in the Olympic Peninsula, and providing jobs to forest workers who had been left

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Habitat Burns, Burning Love, and Loving Butterflies at Beazell Memorial Forest

It’s that classic love story: boy meets girl, boy buys forest, girl marries boy, boy plants 100,000 trees. Okay, not classic, exactly, but sweet, definitely.  When Fred Beazell bought over 500 acres of former farmland near Corvallis in the early sixties, he had dreams of living on the land with his long-time sweetweart, Dolores Anthony. The couple married a few years later, but for decades continued to live in Silicon Valley, where they both worked in tech. Still, Fred made frequent weekend trips to the land and found immense joy in digging holes and planting seedlings – over 100,000 of

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Get Outside! Enjoying FSC®-Certified Forests

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.

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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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Keeping a Weather Eye Open: Measuring Snowfall in the Nisqually Watershed

Maintaining a steady and reliable source of water in a changing climate is critical for the health of both people and ecosystems. Northwest Natural Resource Group (NNRG) has been testing methods of ecological forestry that will increase the resilience of future watershed forests. At the Nisqually Community Forest near Mount Rainier, we have implemented several forestry techniquesthat you may recall from our previous article: Thinning the forest to spread available soil moisture among fewer trees, Installing snow gaps so that more snow accumulates and extends snowmelt season Planting seedlings from warmer zones to provide a local source for adapted genetic traits The techniques were

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Spring: Forestry through the Seasons

It’s nearly officially spring, so get ready to greet the return of the growing season! Each season presents the best time to conduct different stewardship activities. Timing your forest management for the ideal season will help you achieve success and avoid setbacks. This page provides tips to help you make the most of stewarding your forest in spring. As a reminder, bird nesting season begins around March 15th, so try to avoid any major timber management until chicks have left their nests around mid- to late-June. By spring, the window for planting is closing: make sure you get your tree seedlings

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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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How The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Built a Nursery that Supports Land and Community

This article originally appeared in the December 2021 newsletter of Treeline, the regional forest adaptation network. It is reprinted here with permission. You can find the complete newsletter here. A conversation with Jeremy Ojua, Lindsay McClary and Kayla Seaforth The Natural Resources Department at the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde (CTGR) has been operating the Tribal Native Plant Materials Program since 2014. It started with a vision of producing locally sourced native plants for habitat restoration and cultural education, and was originally funded by an Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board “Plants for the People” grant, which they were awarded in partnership

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2020 Reforestation Project: Year 2 Report

This article is part of the Hanson Family Forest series. In January 2020 we planted 18 acres on our family’s land near Bucoda, WA in an effort to restore several degraded sites that had been logged by a previous landowner, but not replanted. These were challenging sites to recover as they were comprised of either dense brush, Himalayan blackberry, mixed grasses, a smattering of naturally regenerated hardwoods, thin or compacted soils, or any combination of these conditions. The site preparation and planting strategy we used is summarized in an earlier blog, Raising 5,200 Children by Shovel and Machete, so I

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2022 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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2021 in Pictures

Throughout the year, NNRG’s staff have had the privilege to visit some very cool places, talk to interesting small, people, and experience the beauty and bounty of the Pacific Northwest. Our work has taken us from the Willamette Valley oak savannas to the coastal forests of the San Juan Islands, and beyond. Take a look at some of the shots we collected from our work and projects along the way.  NNRG Director of Forestry Kirk Hanson conferring with a land manager at Taylor Mountain Forest. NNRG Executive Director Seth Zuckerman and Director of Programs Rowan Braybrook accept the King County

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2021: The Year’s Accomplishments In Review

2022 is just days away, and the NNRG team is itching to get to work on some of the new projects planned for the year. But before we continue on our mission to strengthen the ecological and economic vitality of Northwest forests and communities, we’d like to take a moment to reflect on some of NNRG’s most notable achievements and activities of 2021. 1. Launched a project to test climate adaptation techniques for Northwest forests At the start of 2021, NNRG and partners launched a new demonstration project to test techniques that can help forests endure the kinds of climatic

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Longer Rotations and Carbon

It’s no secret that contemporary industrial timber practices fall short of realizing the potential of Pacific Northwest forests to sequester carbon. Whether it’s the allure of quick financial returns, the constraints of high discount rates, or the notion of fiduciary responsibility, most industrial owners west of the Cascades cut their evergreen forests soon after they grow to merchantable size — at 35 to 45 years old, depending on the growing conditions on the site.  And yet, that practice ends the trees’ career as photosynthesizers and timber manufacturers just when they’re getting good at it. Douglas-fir, for example, hits its stride in

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