Category: From the Blog

Summer: Forestry through the Seasons

Summer is the perfect time for major forest management activities like thinning trees, controlling weeds, and maintaining roads. Performing these stewardship activities in the dry season when sap flow is low will reduce damage to residual trees while minimizing soil compaction and other effects on forest ecosystems. Steward your Forest Clear winter debris from roads and trails for recreation and forest maintenance access. Conduct pre-commercial and commercial thinning. Be sure to wait until mid-June when the sap flow slows down as the bark on your trees is more vulnerable to damage until that time. Birds tend to fledge through July, so

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Resources for Beginning Forest Landowners

In 2016 and 2017, we offered a program for new forest landowners in southwest Washington and northwest Oregon. We produced two handouts specifically for people who recently purchased forestland: Do-It-Yourself Ways to Steward a Healthy, Beautiful Forest – this guide focuses on simple things Northwest forest owners can do themselves to attract wildlife to the land, provide recreation, and contribute to its well-being. Practices to Steward a Beautiful Forest after Timber Harvest – this guide, intended for forest owners who are preparing to log or have just finished a timber harvest, focuses on planning for a successful harvest and taking advantage of

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Earth Day 2016

The theme for Earth Day 2016 is Trees for the Earth. Trees combat climate change, clean air, and provide critical resources to communities. There are so many ways to celebrate our home planet and the trees we all depend on! Join one of the fun, impactful volunteer opportunities below.   Check out NNRG’s stewardship program with workshops and free site visits for small forest landowners to start learning and nurturing your leafy friends. For many woodland owners and stewards, every day is Earth Day. And don’t forget to hug some trees! Happy Earth Day!  

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Stewardship Assistance & Carbon Information for Family Forest Owners

The next application cutoff date is February 17, 2017 Northwest Natural Resource Group is collaborating with The Pinchot Institute for Conservation, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Ecotrust, and other partners on a USDA-funded project to unlock carbon markets for family forest owners.   This program can provide landowners with an initial carbon assessment and a carbon inventory. The inventory measures how much carbon your forest is storing. The program is completely voluntary. The information prepared specifically for your land may be useful when planning the future of your forest. Applying for NRCS funds does not obligate landowners to any carbon programs.   For forest owners who are interested

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Spring: Forestry through the Seasons

Greet the return of the growing season! The nesting season begins around March 15, so try to avoid any major timber management until chicks have left their nests around June 15. The window for planting is closing: make sure you get your tree seedlings and native plants safely in the ground by early April. By tending your plants, nurturing your wildlife, and walking your woods, you can enhance biodiversity, bolster habitat, and prepare for active summer management. Tend your Plants Buy native plants – find a sale near you. Plant seedlings by early April – learn more. Prune before dormancy ends

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By the Numbers: 2015 Accomplishments

2015 was a productive year! Northwest Certified Forestry members showed their dedication to stewarding Pacific Northwest forests with ecologically-minded practices that contribute to the regional economy. We are so inspired by the forest stewards in our community who worked to enhance habitat for threatened and endangered species, remove invasive species, plant native seedlings and shrubs, pursue new markets, and do what it takes to nurture and sustain complex forest structure. Here are some highlights: Our Community 160 members across more than 162,000 acres in Washington and Oregon, More than 100 family forests and small businesses 12 youth camps and education centers 11

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FSC Your Valentine’s Day

However you choose to spend February 14th The Forest Stewardship CouncilⓇ (FSCⓇ) certifies forests and forest products that meet stringent standards of environmental sustainability. What better way to celebrate your loved one than with these luxurious picks? Go on a date in an FSC certified forest: Turtleback Mountain | Orcas Island, WA Discovery Park | Seattle, WA Seward Park | Seattle, WA Carkeek Park | Seattle WA Schmitz Park | Seattle, WA Commodore Park | Seattle, WA Cowling Creek Forest Preserve | Poulsbo, WA Ueland Tree Farm | Bremerton, WA Klingel Wetlands Wildlife Refuge | Belfair, WA Tiger Mountain State Forest: Issaquah, WA Island Center Forest | Vashon Island, WA Ellsworth Preserve | Naselle, WA Northwest Trek | Eatonville, WA Mashel River | Eatonville, WA Nisqually

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Winter: Forestry through the Seasons

Winter is a wonderful time to be out in your woods! Without leaves, you’ll have visibility to notice summer’s successes as well as potential issues for the coming dry season. By walking your woods and planning for spring, winter can be restorative and productive for you and your forest. Walk your Woods Straighten up tree cages Check for how planted seedlings are doing – learn more  Monitor stream health First steps for your stream Check bank stability Look for erosion, vegetation along bank Check water clarity Continuing steps Take the water temperature Start measuring stream flow Get to know your bugs

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From stump to Stumptown

The farm-to-table movement resonates with citizens of the Pacific Northwest. We shop at local farmers markets, participate in CSAs, buy eggs from our neighbors who raise chickens. We care so much about where our food comes from – and its well-being – that the show Portlandia pokes fun at us Oregonians and Washingtonians wanting to “meet the chicken” on our plate. But can we extend the farm-to-table concept to the next level of sustainable sourcing? Forest-to-building? Stump-to-siding? Tree-to-floor? At NNRG, we believe it’s important to have confidence and take comfort in knowing where our wood products come from. Meeting the stump and walking through the forest from which the

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Member Spotlight: A few sheep and EQIP help steward the forest

By Christina Davis and NNRG Steve and Linnea Bensel of Nootka Rose Farm steward 32 acres of forest on Waldron Island in the San Juans. In recent years, they accessed cost-share funds through the Natural Resources Conservation Service to develop a forest management plan and do a pre-commercial thinning in their forest. They also channel the appetites of a few woolly ruminants to stymy invasive ivy.  Steve and his wife, Linnea, both grew up as stewards of the land: Linnea’s mother was an avid gardener and Steve’s parents farmed when he was a child, informing his decision at the age of 4 to become a farmer himself. In short, the

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Funding Forest Stewardship – Enhance Forest Health

For the third installment in the Funding Your Forest series, we’re focusing on ways to improve the diversity and productivity of your forest. Stewarding a forest that is diverse in species, age and size classes, with appropriate stocking densities is beneficial to the entire ecosystem – supporting resilience to diseases and pests, and boosts overall productivity. So to speak – it diversifies your forest’s investment portfolio. The objective of enhancing forest health can be accomplished in a variety of ways and typically includes: pre-commercial thinning, planting native trees and shrubs, and removing invasive species – mechanically or chemically. For example, forest stand improvement (EQIP code 666), or pre-commercial thinning, entails removing individual trees

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Funding Fuel Reduction and Forest Health Projects

Depending on the state of your forest, fuel reduction and forest slash treatments may be ways you can improve your forest’s health and fire resilience. We’ve identified cost-share programs, funding, and other resources, as well as information on how to do-it-yourself. Forest slash treatment is becoming a necessity in many forests due to historic fire suppression and the trees and vegetation that have grown since (more dense, often comprised of more species less resistant to fire). Fire suppression has led to many overstocked forests that become serious fire hazards during the increasingly dry summer season. Methods to reduce fire fuels range from removal

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Special Announcement: Funding Forest Stewardship – Make a Plan

NNRG is kicking off a series about cost-share programs and resources available to woodland owners in Oregon and Washington. Over the next six weeks we’ll be sharing information about resources to fund stewardship activities in your forest. We’re focusing on the topics you’ve told us are important to you: developing management plans, improving timber quality, planting native trees and shrubs, removing invasive species, reducing fuel loads, and enhancing fish and wildlife habitat. We’re timing this series with the cutoff for 2016 EQIP funding in Washington State. This year, the Washington EQIP deadline is October 16, 2015. In Oregon, the cutoff

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Sometimes a couch tells the story

Over the past year my father built a set of craftsman-style living room furniture for my family – a couch and two Morris chairs. This furniture is particularly significant as it was crafted from white oak that my father and I harvested from my family’s original woodlot in Minnesota many years ago.   The logs were cut by a small mill near the woodlot, and the lumber painstakingly dried over my folks’ woodstove in their basement. They have since sold the woodlot and moved to Washington to live near my family, so all that remains of the forest of my

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Partnership in the Skagit Watershed

The iconic Skagit Watershed is important to all of us for its production of timber, food, and fisheries. It is also significant in that it is the only river system in the Puget Sound region to support all five species of Pacific salmon. The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Northwest Natural Resource Group (NNRG) are collaborating to help woodland owners assess forest health and evaluate stream habitat and forest roads. Through this partnership we are reaching out to landowners in the Skagit Watershed to provide one-on-one site visits, workshops, and technical assistance. This project is supported by our partners: Skagit Conservation District,

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GiveBIG – May 5

Are you a champion for forests? The Seattle Foundation’s GiveBIG is a one-day, online charitable giving event to inspire people to give generously to nonprofit organizations who make our region a stronger, more vibrant community for all. This year’s GiveBIG event is May 5, 2015. Northwest Natural Resource Group is excited to be a participant in this year’s day of community giving. Support NNRG through GiveBIG on May 5 and the Seattle Foundation will stretch your donation. Thank you for your support! Support NNRG on GiveBIG.      http://www.seattlefoundation.org/npos/Pages/NorthwestNaturalResourceGroup.aspx Why support NNRG? We exist because healthy working forests are essential to our world. Our mission

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Time to start thinking about 2016 EQIP projects

The Washington State cutoff for 2016 EQIP funding is Friday, July 17, 2015 (Edit: The 2016 EQIP deadline has been extended to October 16, 2015 in WA. The Oregon 2016 EQIP deadline is January 15, 2016.) The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is a technical and financial assistance program managed by the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. EQIP is a cost-share reimbursement program that helps forest owners pay for a certain amount of a conservation practice by reimbursing landowners for a percentage of agreed to costs. Forest owners use EQIP to pay for materials, equipment, consultants, and labor to complete practices (see the list below).

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Spring time in the San Juans

NNRG returned to the San Juans this spring, this time assisting Camp Orkila prepare for pre-commercial thinning as well as develop a forest management plan for Satellite Island. Kirk Hanson, Director of Forestry, spent the better part of a day on Satellite Island, a 116-acre remote camping island owned by the YMCA that is nestled along the northern side of Stuart Island, approximately 8 miles NW of Orcas Island.     The YMCA received EQIP funding to hire NNRG to develop a forest management plan for Satellite Island. Camp Orkila acquired Satellite Island in the late 1940’s as a gift from the

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Rosalyn Timber Harvest 5

Harvest Underway at Roslyn Urban Forest

This month, Northwest Natural Resource Group started the restoration harvest on the City of Roslyn’s Urban Forest. Roslyn’s forest has not been managed for decades and is extremely overtstocked for its age – mostly with Douglas fir that has grown in among the Ponderosa pine in the absence of naturally occurring forest fires. NNRG is helping the City implement its stewardship plan for RUF. The aim is to assist the forest in transitioning to more resilient conditions: a mosaic of open Ponderosa pine, Douglas fir and grand fir forest, with varying degrees of tree densities and canopy closures, low volumes

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Fostering Positive Growth in a Forest and a Community

Tierra Learning Center’s forest in Sunitsch Canyon Leavenworth, WA By: Christina Davis The history of Sunitsch Canyon extends further into the past than the incorporation of Washington State. Mathias Sunitsch, originally from Austria, established his homestead on the land in 1888, then considered Washington Territory. Sunitsch’s barn, built in 1912, still stands on the property today. Although over a century has passed, a reverence for the land once held by an Austrian immigrant can still be felt in the present operations at Sunitsch Canyon and Tierra Learning Center. Tierra Learning Center was established at Sunitsch Canyon in 2001 when Gracie

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