Category: NNRG Member Profiles

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

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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

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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

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Member Spotlight: Butler Family Forest

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.

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Member Spotlight: Wooded Retreat at Two Frog Bog

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

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Stewardship: Just Call It Love

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:

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Member Spotlight: Orkila showcases ecological forestry

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

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Member Spotlight: Oak restoration & attuning to “hidden” wonders

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

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Member Spotlight: Giving back to forest, creek, and community

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

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Member Spotlight: Learning the ways of their dream forest

For years, Tod and Gerie Lemkuhl loved exploring Mount Rainier National Park and dreamed of some-day stewarding a wild forest akin to the park’s cathedrals of lush old-growth. Seven years ago they knew it was time to turn “someday” into reality. So they sold their home in Seattle, purchased 20 acres of forest near Eatonville and started to get to know the land. As the Lemkuhls embarked on their journey, they learned to use active management to steward the forest of their dreams. At first the Lemkuhls got to know their forest by camping out and spending time building trails,

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Member Spotlight: Nisqually State Park

To restore ecological complexity to a forest, you need good partners and often, you need to cut a few trees. Last summer, Washington State Parks & Recreation Commission worked with the University of Washington’s Pack Forest, WA State Department of Natural Resources, and WyEast Timber Services to conduct an ecologically-based harvest project on 104 acres of Nisqually State Park. State Parks’ goal for the project was to improve forest health by enhancing the biodiversity of the forest. The restoration treatment used a silvicultural method known as a variable density thinning (VDT) and created half-acre to 1-acre gaps where all the Douglas-fir were

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Member Spotlight: Turning nothing into something

In our Member Spotlight series, we highlight NNRG members who have used forest products for unique and entrepreneurial purposes on their land and within their communities. Often these projects help members earn supplemental income. For the third installment in the series, we introduce you to Oak Basin Tree Farm, a Forest Stewardship Council® certified member of our group certificate, who has sourced non-timber forest products from their woods to local markets. Oak Basin Tree Farm Through much hard work and creative ideas, brothers Jim and Ed Merzenich have the seemingly magical ability to turn nothing into something. Their skills in alchemy are abundantly evident throughout the restoration work and the non-timber forest products they sell

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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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Member Spotlight: Shiitake Mushroom Logs

In our Member Spotlight series, we highlight Northwest Certified Forestry (NCF) members who have used forest products for unique and entrepreneurial purposes on their land and within their communities. Often these projects help members earn supplemental income. For the second installment in the series, we introduce you to Gopher Valley Botanicals, a Forest Stewardship Council® certified member of our group certificate, who has sourced non-timber forest products from her woods to local markets. Gopher Valley Botanicals   Located amid the rolling foothills of Yamhill County in the western Willamette Valley, Gopher Valley Botanicals (GVB) stewards a 20-acre forest comprised of Douglas-fir, Oregon white oak, and a wooded wetland. The landowners take an active management

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Member Spotlight: Large woody debris & wetland restoration

In our Member Spotlight series, we highlight Northwest Certified Forestry (NCF) members who are improving ecosystem functions and who have cultivated forest products for unique and entrepreneurial purposes on their land and within their communities. In this edition, we introduce you to Digger Mountain Forestry-a Forest Stewardship Council® certified member of our group certificate, and Yankee Creek Forestry-an NCF Preferred Provider. Recently, these members provided woody debris for restoration projects focused on salmon habitat and wetland recovery in the Willamette Valley and the Southern Oregon Coast. Digger Mountain Forestry   Digger Mountain Forestry stewards 650 acres of forest in Oregon’s Coast Range. In recent years Northwest Certified Foresty has put out calls

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Point Defiance Park – a living museum

Point Defiance Park is as rare as it is gorgeous. No where else can one find 500 acres of old-growth forest along the shore of Puget Sound and all within the city of Tacoma. The forest is interwoven with walking and running trails, bike paths, and picnic areas that provide a serene reprieve from the urban bustle just beyond its shady canopy. Excellent stewardship on the part of Metro Parks Tacoma is to credit for the forest’s preservation. The agency manages parks all over the city, but Point Defiance stands out within Tacoma – and the Puget Sound region – because it is Forest

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Sustainable Forestry for Three Generations

O’Neill Pine Company By Jennifer Whitelaw If you ask about touring O’Neill Pine Company’s forests, co-owner Richard Pine will tell you, “it’s a long walk.” In fact, their forests are spread out over 44 properties, comprising 2,250 Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) certified acres of forest land in the Chehalis area of Washington. Richard and his wife Debra grow Douglas Fir, some Alder and a small handful of other tree varieties. While they won’t harvest any timber this year, they hope that they will be well positioned to supply FSC certified timber to timber framers and contractors when the real estate market

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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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Evergreen Land Trust

Evergreen Land Trust, Deming, WA Evergreen Ecoforestry is a program of the Evergreen Land Trust. ELT uses selective and low impact logging to limit ecosystem impacts while producing lumber and finished wood products. We steward over 200 acres of second growth forest upslope from the South Fork Nooksack River in Deming , WA . Our forests are dominated by 50-80 year old hemlock, cedar and Douglas-fir interspersed with stands of mature alder and maple. We focus our stewardship on maintaining slope stability, protecting riparian forests and stimulating the development of old forest conditions. Wood products from Evergreen’s forests are found

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Northwest Trek

Northwest Trek, Eatonville, WA By Jennifer Whitelaw Northwest Trek is a 723-acre wildlife park near Eatonville. 435 of those acres feature a fenced in free-roaming area where native Northwest animals can be viewed from a moving tram. Take the tour and you will hear about the animals from one of the naturalists on staff.  You will also hear about Northwest Trek’s efforts to steward their forest using sustainable forest management techniques. In 2008 Northwest Trek achieved FSC® certification, the highest environmental standard in the world for forest management, through the Northwest Natural Resource Group’s (NNRG) Northwest Certified Forestry program. The

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