© 2015 - 2018. Northwest Natural Resource Group. All rights reserved.
Category: From the Blog
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
Our dedicated, knowledgeable staff. If you own a small- to medium-sized forest and want to manage your land for more than just the almighty dollar, it helps to have someone in your corner with the wisdom and experience to help achieve your ecological, economic, aesthetic, and even spiritual goals for the forest. That’s the staff of NNRG. We have room here to mention just three of them: Rick, our most seasoned forester, has a 30-year track record of getting landowners the best price for their timber so they can cut the minimum necessary to meet their financial objectives. Lindsay, our director
NNRG’s group certificate for forests meeting the Forest Stewardship Council® standards covers more than 190,000 acres in 86 different ownerships across Oregon and Washington. The forests certified by NNRG are depicted as dark blue circles in the map above. In addition, another 420,000 acres in the two states are certified under other auspices, including the South Puget planning unit of Washington Department of Natural Resources, EFM, the Coquille Tribe, the Collins Lakeview Forest, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, and Oregon-based forestry consultants Trout Mountain Forestry. For a list of lands that are FSC-certified through NNRG’s group certificate, click here. For a selection of NNRG member profiles, click here.
Building a constructed log after thinning out small suppressed trees increases the economic value of future harvest while invigorating wildlife habitat and cleaning up slash. Kirk Hanson, our Directory of Forestry, talks about why he built his. Photo: Matt Freeman-Gleason
Landowners in San Juan County are addressing the unique challenges of managing island forests for both ecological health and economic viability. NNRG and our partners have worked with many island forests, conducting one-on-one site visits, developing management plans, hosting tours and classes. Increasingly, landowners have sought instruction 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 stand improvements and restoration treatments. In 2017, we hosted a series of workshops for forest owners interested in reducing risks to their woodlands and using the extra woody biomass
Many forest owners want to reap a diverse harvest from their land: ecological, social, and financial benefits, all from the same forest. But how to achieve these good intentions? Fostering a future grove of old-growth or restoring an oak woodland may mean thinning out “extra” trees through commercial harvest. Creating a home for pileated woodpeckers and other wildlife requires leaving many of the largest trees and snags standing instead of removing them for firewood. Earning periodic income from the forest – be it timber or floral greens – starts with an initial investment in long-range planning and infrastructure to optimize harvest options. Forest stewardship requires landowners
Giving landowners the decision-making tools they need to become informed forest stewards Landowners can encounter barriers that prevent them from taking an active approach to stewarding their forests. We interviewed landowners to understand their stewardship concerns, their sources of information, and the factors that influence their management activities. Landowners make decisions based on their understanding of their forest’s health, the availability of contractors, and the income potential from an activity and its corresponding costs. Important factors guiding their decisions include recommendations from forestry professionals who know their land and the goals they identify in their forest management plans. We developed tools to help forest
NNRG is working with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) to help unlock carbon markets for family forest owners. We recently completed a forest carbon assessment for our FSC-certified member Clyde Tree Farm. Prepared with data from this unique forest, the assessment offers a rough estimate of the current level of forest carbon storage in the tree farm, the amount of CO2 to be captured over 100 years, and the influence forest management may have on carbon storage going forward. The ability for trees and forests to sequester and store carbon for extended periods of