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Category: NNRG Member Profiles
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
Paul Butler has had a life-long love of forests. Now that he and his wife steward their own forest they’ve taken steps to care for and enjoy their land. Paul tells us how his relationship with his woods has deepened over time and what actions he’s taking to make the forest healthy.
A walk along the winding path of Raven’s Trail at Two Frog Bog finds many visitors shedding the stress and grind of hurried lives and pausing to absorb the beautiful details found within the forest. Elona Kafton loves her 20-acre woods in the Rainier foothills outside of Roy, WA. She and her family nurture an oasis where people and wildlife recharge. Taking a stroll with Elona from her backyard permaculture garden into the forest is an immersive delight for one’s senses. Soon all focus is on clusters of golden brown mushrooms glistening with recent rain, red rosehips shining like polished jewels, verdant green
Christine Johnson (with her husband Terrigal) has loved forests all her life. As NNRG’s board chair, she helps us work to protect the health, resilience, and character of these incredible places, share her love of Northwest woodlands every step along the way. Her 10-acre, FSC®-certified forest on Waldron Island is a living testament to Christine’s stewardship. Learn more about Christine and her journey:
Along the rocky shores of Orcas Island, YMCA Camp Orkila is a special place where the forest meets the sea. Campers describe the iconic Northwest destination as magical, Neverland, and Oz. The YMCA offers camp programs by summer and outdoor environmental education programs in the spring and fall, serving more than 17,000 campers and students each year. The iconic camp is a San Juan destination for fun, outdoor exploration, and learning. It’s also on its way to becoming a showcase demonstration forest for ecologically-based stewardship. Camp Orkila is a Conservation Member of NNRG’s Northwest Certified Forestry program, stewarding more than 170 acres of forest within the
When Jeanie Taylor and her husband, Tom Lenon, saw their forest for the first time they knew it was home. While the 20 acres in the Gopher Valley hills of Yamhill County was riddled with scotch broom and blackberry, it also supported Oregon white oaks and suggested the potential to provide habitat for endangered Fender’s blue butterfly, threatened Kincaid’s lupine, western gray squirrels, western bluebirds and other species endemic to the Willamette Valley. They bought the land with the intent to restore native oak ecosystems and eventually live full-time on the property. Jeanie and Tom knew it would be work to rehabilitate the historic oak woodland choked
Camp Myrtlewood brings together a community dedicated to stewardship, environmental education, and fellowship. Just a few miles upstream from the confluence of the Middle Fork Coquille River and Myrtle Creek, Camp Myrtlewood includes 124 acres of temperate rainforest that is Forest Stewardship Council® certified through NNRG’s FSC® group certificate. Tucked away in the Coast Range of southern Oregon, the retreat center and hospitality ministry of the Church of the Brethren draws people from throughout the Northwest. The camp’s leadership and volunteers strive to give back to the forest and river that sustain the camp (making every day Earth Day at