Category: From the Blog

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 techniques that 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

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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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NNRG JUNE FIRESIDE CHAT: WILDLIFE HABITAT ENHANCEMENTS

JUNE FIRESIDE CHAT: WEDNESDAY, JUNE 15TH @ 7:30PM At the June Fireside Chat, NNRG Director of Forestry Kirk Hanson will discuss hands-on techniques for improving wildlife habitat in your woods. Topics will include habitat piles, constructed logs, improving understory diversity and forage for mammals, nesting boxes, and more! WHAT IS A FIRESIDE CHAT? Fireside chats are monthly community events where forest owners can talk directly with NNRG staff and other forestry professionals, and connect with other forest owners in western Washington and Oregon. On the third Wednesday of every month, we invite you to join NNRG Director of Forestry Kirk

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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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A Holiday Bough Harvest at Nisqually Community Forest

NNRG recently facilitated a unique harvest at Nisqually Community Forest, a community-owned and community-managed forest at the foothills of Mount Rainier.  The Community Forest is the site of a project that is testing the effects of thinning to different densities on a stand’s ability to adapt to the hotter, drier climate of the future. In November, a thinning crew hand-felled small-diameter trees to create more room for the remaining trees to grow and reduce competition for water and nutrients. A member of the thinning crew hand fells a fir in a thick patch of forest that’s being used in a

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BUY LOCAL FROM WELL-MANAGED FORESTS

There are so many brilliant reasons to buy local. When you trade 2-day delivery for fresh-from-the-forest, you’re supporting local landowners, sustainable forestry practices, and guaranteed high-quality products. Many local forest owners make and sell non-timber forest products that would make wonderful stocking stuffers or can feed your home hearth. This holiday season, consider supporting ecological forestry by purchasing from one of the forests below.  NNRG MEMBERS OAK BASIN TREE FARMCanopy Essential Oils Canopy Essential Oils are a handcrafted collection of natural oil extracts carefully steam distilled from the tender bough tips of Oregon native conifers on FSC®-certified Oak Basin Tree

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2021 NNRG Staff & Board Book Picks

We asked the NNRG staff and board — notorious for thinking about forests as much off-the-clock as on — for the best forestry, nature, PNW, and environment-related books they read this year. The result is a list as varied as it is long! Click on a title below to read about the book, or scroll down to read about the whole list.  Backyard Bounty: The Complete Guide to Year-Round Organic Gardening in the Pacific Northwest Linda Gilkeson “Packed with a wealth of information specific to the Pacific Northwest, this complete guide emphasizes low-maintenance methods, covers problems related to common pests

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An Easier Way to Inventory Your Forest

Conducting a timber and woody biomass inventory of a forest may sound complicated. But as a forest owner, it’s one of the first steps you’ll need to take before diving into the substantial decisions of how to steward your forest.

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A Field Guide to Forester’s Tools

A forester walks into the woods carrying diameter tape, an increment borer, and a GPS… No, it’s not the opening to a joke or a riddle — it’s the start of a typical workday in the field for an NNRG foresters, who never leave home without a few important pieces of forestry gear. Several of these items are readily accessible at your local forestry and farm suppliers and could be gear staples for landowners who monitor or inventory their forest. Read on to learn a bit more about what our foresters are carrying around while they’re working in the woods

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Moving Trees: Definitions and Ethics of Assisted Migration

In every discussion of forest restoration or climate adaptation, someone asks the question: What about the assisted migration of trees? Should we be doing it? What are the potential impacts? It’s a big topic, and one nuanced enough that it could easily fill a hundred discussions, a dozen doctoral theses, and several books. Our recent presentation and discussion with our partners in the Treeline project, the regional forest adaptation network supported by Climate Resilience Fund was focused on these issues. The event covered definitions and ethical concerns around assisted migration with the aim of gaining some collective clarity on the topic.

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