Category: News

Protecting Forests and Clean Drinking Water along Lake St. Clair

People need forests. They make our oxygen, clean our water, limit flooding, and absorb carbon. They evoke mental well-being and are part of our cultural identities. Protecting the ecosystem services that forests and other invaluable biotic communities provide is integral to our future. Often, we can take for granted the significance of what forested ecosystems contribute to our region. Enter this under recognized niche, are the scientists and economists who are translating the functions of ecosystems into a more comprehensible currency. A 2009 study by Earth Economics found that every year, the Nisqually Watershed provides between $288 million and $4.2

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Saving a few good oaks

We found this short film inspirational. Especially considering the efforts of our Forest Stewardship Council® certified members who are committed to restoring oak habitat in the Willamette Valley, the Puget Trough, and the San Juan Islands. These stewards have removed Douglas-fir trees that established after years of fire suppression, thinned small diameter Oregon white oaks (a.k.a. Garry oaks, Quercus garryana), and planted native grasses and flowers all in effort to restore oak savanna and woodland ecology. They’ve spent countless days removing Scots broom and Himalayan blackberry from the under-story and mid-story of their forest. Oregon white oak ecosystems are among the most endangered ecological communities in

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From the Field: Precision tree felling video

Forestry Director Kirk Hanson is on Orcas Island hosting the precision tree felling and low-impact yarding courses at YMCA Camp Orkila this week (9/24-26). Ken Lallemont of Timber Resource is instructing the courses and providing hands on guidance to students. It’s an intensive 2-3 days of training to learn the art and science of tree felling and tree extraction. Many of the folks who take the class go on to do their own timber harvests, take down trees for firewood, and thin their forests to create space and allow light to reach the forest floor. Learning to fell trees is also an application of understanding

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Growing biologically rich forests for wildlife and income

On a beautiful summer day in early June, woodland owners gathered inside the library at Sedro-Woolley High School for the Managing for Timber and Wildlife workshop. The more than 20 participants were there to learn from Rolf Gersonde and Ken Bevis, two experts in the fields of silviculture and wildlife biology. Rolf Gersonde, a renowned silviculturist and researcher for the City of Seattle’s Cedar River Watershed presented first, focusing mainly on sustainable forest management practices. He explained that creating stands that are diverse in age, class, and species would not only serve as sanctuary to many different types of wildlife but would also

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Crystal Lake Tree Farm – a community and a classroom

On June 23, I was fortunate enough to attend a forest health workshop at the location. It was a lovely night to be outside as we tromped up and down the road of Crystal Lake Tree Farm. Settled on 400 acres in suburban Woodinville, WA, its location is merely one special aspect of the tree farm. The tree farm is a sustainably-managed community forest that surrounds Crystal Lake, where 66 families live and own a lot of their own land. I soon met Ron Munro, the man behind this unique place. Unassuming and vastly knowledgeable, he reminds me of my

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Sustainable forestry in Clark County

In southwest Washington, Clark County Department of Environmental Services exemplifies how to transition forest land from passive management to active management. Starting in 2011, the County developed forest stewardship plans for its recently acquired properties. Today, the County is using selective thinning and other techniques to improve overall health of these forest ecosystems that supports a diversity of plants and animals while generating a modest income from wood products. The County’s Forest Stewardship Council® certified forests at Camp Bonneville and Green Mountain are part of NNRG’s FSC group certificate. Learn more about Clark County’s sustainable forestry program.

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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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Hyla Woods on OPB’s Oregon Field Guide

How often can we meet the forest where our table came from? When you purchase wood locally from forest owners like Peter and Pam Hayes of Hyla Woods there’s the a unique opportunity to meet the forest and know that it’s a healthy, diverse ecosystem. Peter and Pam are students of their land and steward it to enhance biodiversity, produce high-quality timber, and contribute community benefits that range from clean water and wildlife habitat to outdoor learning experiences for students of all ages and jobs in the woods. NCF member, Hyla Woods, was recently featured on Oregon Public Broadcasting’s Oregon Field

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NNRG Helping to Restore Roslyn Urban Forest

In May 2014, the Roslyn City Council voted to engage with NNRG’s Northwest Certified Forestry program to guide management of their 300-acre urban forest. The Roslyn Urban Forest came under city ownership in 2004, and a Land Stewardship Plan was adopted to clarify the city’s vision for a forest that benefits the human, animal, and plant communities living within it. NNRG’s mission for this project is to demonstrate how active management can achieve restoration goals while generating sufficient income to the city to pay for the project, and also add to the city’s general fund. The first step in this multi-year

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Restoring Forest Along Willapa Bay

Forterra: Lynn Point and Nemah River, Pacific County, WA By: Christina Davis, edited by NNRG Northwest Certified Forestry (NCF) member Forterra, has long recognized the ecological importance of its forest reserve along Willapa Bay. Located at the confluence of the Nemah River and the estuary, the 300-acre forest contributes to a biological hotspot for migratory birds and endangered fish. But it took assistance from the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and NCF to develop a new stewardship plan for the land managed by the Seattle-based conservation organization. Now with a plan in place, Forterra is on a restoration journey to further

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