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Wildfire is not a phenomenon confined to the eastern portions of Washington and Oregon. The 2020 fire season made that clear. As we face warmer and drier summers in the future, overstocked forests west of the Cascades are increasingly susceptible to wildfire, drought, insect infestation, and disease. But forest owners can take proactive steps to reduce these risks using techniques such as forest thinning and clearing “ladder fuels” that can lead a fire from the understory into the forest canopy.
In 2021 NNRG is embarking on a new project, “Increasing Forest Producer Resiliency in the face of Wildfire and Drought Risks in NW Washington,” that builds on previous partnerships funded by USDA Risk Management Agency and Extension Risk Management Education. Through a combination of one-on-one site visits and forest tele-health consultations, fireside chats, and in-person workshops, we will help forest owners in northwest Washington develop and implement plans to reduce fire risk, improve climate resilience, and avoid unplanned timber loss in their forests.
This project includes a series of free workshops for forest producers in Snohomish, Island, and San Juan counties. Workshops will combine in-field forest ecology instruction with opportunities for forest owners to learn risk-reduction techniques under professional supervision. Through a combination of instruction, demonstration, and activities, workshop participants will gain experience in tree-marking, tree felling, slash disposal, making biochar, empowering them to undertake that work on their own.
Exact workshop dates and locations will be announced in September 2021. Please stay tuned!
CAMANO ISLAND, WA
Hands on Forest Health Strategies for Snohomish County Forests
Spring 2022 | Location TBD
VIDEO OF FOREST HEALTH WORKSHOP
In August 2020, NNRG hosted the workshop Improving Forest Health and Fire Resistance in a Changing Climate, a precursor to the 2021-2022 workshops. Participants at the workshop learned how to evaluate forest conditions, select trees for harvesting, and utilize woody biomass for forest health and biochar production. A full recording of that workshop, which took place in a San Juan Island forest, is available below.
RESOURCES RELATED TO THINNING & WOODY BIOMASS
This material is based upon work supported by USDA/NIFA under Award Number 2018-70027-28587. We’d also like to thank the USDA Risk Management Agency for their long-time support.