Category: NNRG Member Profiles

Out With the Fir, In With the Oak

Sarah Deumling has noticed some changes in her forest over the past 20 years.

There’s a little less water to go around, and her family’s land, Zena Forest in the Willamette Valley of Oregon, is a little hotter and drier during the summer. Why? These changes are consistent with climate models’ predictions of the way Oregon climate is shifting under the influence of global warming.

Continue »

Keeping an Eye on the Back 40

Regular, rigorous monitoring is an important part of good forest stewardship. No one knows this better than Chris Goodman. Chris and his family own and take care of Back40 Quinault Forest, an aptly named 40-acre forest near Lake Quinault in Grays Harbor County. Since acquiring the forest in 2008, monitoring has been a critical component of how Chris manages his forest. In conversation Chris mentions monitoring canopy closure, seedling growth, trees per acre, soil pH, and air temperature—not to mention elk browse, camera trap photos, bird box usage, elk herd movements, and bear damage. (Phew!) His strategy has its roots

Continue »

Forestry for the Generations

Ayers’ Last Stand has roots that go four generations deep. When Matt Patton and his kids play in their forest, they’re climbing, hiding, and running around some of the same trees Matt’s great-great-grandfather knew. Matt’s kids are the sixth generation in his family to experience the forest—known as Ayers’ Last Stand—and likely not the last. Today the forest’s 210 acres are FSC®-certified through NNRG’s group certificate. But Ayers’ Last Stand came into being long before FSC® existed, when the family of Matt’s maternal great-great-grandfather moved from Connecticut to Thurston County in the 1890s. “They started farming on some of the

Continue »

Making a Good Co-Home

There’s a hint of expectation in the air around Lousignont Creek, located in the northern Oregon Coast Range.Sometime in the next two months, adult coho salmon will appear as if out of nowhere and struggle upstream in search of suitable gravel for spawning.

Continue »

A Tale of Two Thinnings

Two members of NNRG’s group FSC certficate, Kopel Family Forest and Ferris Family Forest, are both commercially thinning their forests—a strategy that works to achieve both landowners’ goals for their lands. 

Continue »

Stewarding Woodlands in a Changing Climate

Ben Deumling and his family steward Zena Forest, a member of NNRG’s group FSC® certificate. The largest contiguous block of forest in the Eola Hills of the Willamette Valley, Zena Forest has not been immune to the impacts of climate change. Facing large-scale Douglas-fir die-off, Ben describes below how he and his family are experimenting with planting less-traditional tree species—ones more tolerant to a warming climate.

Continue »

NNRG Members Are Harvesting More Than Timber From Their Forests

Finding creative ways to derive enjoyment—and a little extra income—from non-timber forest products. Many forest owners enjoy the pleasures and profits that Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) bring. Broadly speaking, NTFPs are forest products or services aside from commercially harvested timber that have potential personal or commercial value.  NTFPs range from foraged berries and mushrooms to holiday wreaths and essential oils, from firewood to agricultural soil amendments, and on and on. Sometimes commercial services like tourism are considered NTFPs.  Two members of NNRG’s FSC® Group Certificate are capitalizing on some of the NTFPs in their forests. We hope their experiences inspire some curiosity in other landowners about the NTFPs

Continue »

Featured Member: Still Waters Farm

By the time Beth and Mark Biser bought Still Waters Farm in 1990, the 48-acre parcel of forest in Mason County, Washington was a shell of its former self. Its 20 acres of wetlands had suffered two major disturbances.

Continue »

Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way to Combat Blackberries!

Pair Family Forest, situated in the Snoqualmie Valley just west of Duvall, had a serious invasives problem when the family purchased the land in 2005. About a third of the property was choked with tangled pockets of Himalayan blackberry thicket. The brambles had muscled out the native shrubbery and posed a serious problem for Wayne, who had visions of transforming his forest into a mixed-age, biologically-rich ecosystem.

Continue »

Sometimes, a forest just needs a little TLC (Thinning, Love, and Cost-share reimbursement)

As lifelong forest owners Rod and Diana Hanson were no strangers to land stewardship when they bought 70 acres near Black Diamond, WA in 2011. But the forest they purchased was a far cry from their vision of a mixed-species, mixed-age, biologically rich ecosystem that could also yield valuable wood products. The property had previously been owned by an industrial timber company that managed the land for short-term economic returns. The company had clearcut the property in the early 1980s and densely re-planted it all with Douglas-fir, the most commercially valuable species in our region. Several Douglas-fir stands were dark

Continue »

Member Spotlight: Smelling the Forest for the Trees

Brothers Jim and Ed Merzenich, along with Jim’s wife, Karen Wilson, steward Oak Basin Tree Farm: nearly 1,000 acres in the Coburg Hills outside of Brownsville, Oregon at the south end of the Willamette Valley. Oak Basin Tree Farm is Forest Stewardship Council® certified through NNRG’s group certificate.

Continue »

Northwest Watershed Institute’s 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.

Continue »

Great Peninsula Conservancy

Great Peninsula Conservancy (GPC) just completed the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) certification process for Grovers Creek Preserve! Acquired by the Conservancy in 2015, the 197-acre preserve near Poulsbo boasts 60 acres of rare older growth forest including stands of western hemlock, Sitka spruce, western redcedar, and Douglas-fir. There are even 11.5 acres of late successional forested peat bog. These diverse habitats support beaver, black bear, mink, otter, salamanders, frogs, and more than 60 bird species. The forest surrounds a stretch of Grovers Creek, which provides habitat for Endangered Species Act-listed winter steelhead as well as coho and cutthroat. “GPC purchased

Continue »

Cedar Row Farm

Eve Lonnquist can often be found working in the woods, just like her grandmother, who bought Cedar Row Farm in 1919 for $2000 and planted its namesake row of cedars. Nestled in the Nehalem River foothills, the 160-acre forest is stewarded by Eve, her two brothers and her partner Lynn Baker. The family enjoys taking care of the land and balances multiple goals, including recreation and income from timber harvest as well as providing wildlife habitat. They are FSC-certified through NNRG’s group certificate and are members of the Oregon Woodland Cooperative, selling bundled firewood to grocery stores around the Portland

Continue »

Central Cascades Forest

The 46,000 acres of forestland spanning Snoqualmie Pass to Cle Elum known as the Central Cascades Forest (CCF) is now Forest Stewardship Council®-certified, through NNRG’s group certificate. It’s the Northwest’s largest jump in certified forestland since the City of Seattle’s Cedar River watershed earned FSC certification in 2011. The CCF is managed by The Nature Conservancy in Washington, which takes a comprehensive approach to stewarding lands. Management goals for the forest include improving wildlife habitat, producing a sustained yield of wood products, increasing climate resilience, providing clean water, bolstering local communities, and reducing the risk of catastrophic wildfire. “We are excited to recognize this important

Continue »

Jackrabbit Farm: Building a Food Forest System

by Kelly Smith, NNRG volunteer On a cool and misty morning last September, Kirk Hanson and I visited Jackrabbit Farm in Southwest Washington.  Kirk, Northwest Natural Resource Group’s Director of Forestry, needed to make observations and gather data for a new forest management plan for the farm, which had recently been funded through the USDA’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). My presence on this visit was due to my interest in “job shadowing” him on a site with elements of agroforestry and permaculture. As we drove down the forested driveway, a wild rabbit hopped across our path, welcoming us to

Continue »

Blakely Island Timber

Up in the San Juans Islands, our Forest Stewardship Council®-certified member Blakely Island Timber cares for more than 2,200 acres on namesake Blakely Island. Harvesting timber is a tool to achieve their goal of stewarding the forest with a healthy, productive long into the future. Douglas-fir grows much more slowly in the San Juans than on the mainland, creating stronger wood with tighter rings and greater contrast between light spring bands and dark summer ones. This beautiful wood is harvested according to FSC® standards. BIT does all of its own processing, milling, drying, and manufacturing on site using an energy-efficient

Continue »