Hands-On Forest Health Strategies for Western Washington Forest Owners

Learn hands-on strategies for managing healthy forests in Western Washington.

Many forest owners across Western Washington are interested in taking a hands-on approach to improving the health, resilience and productivity of their forests, but may lack the information, skills and resources to do so. At this workshop, local and regional experts will introduce forest owners to simple, do-it-yourself strategies for thinning their forests, mitigating slash and creating value-added products.

Participants will develop a deeper understanding of the ecological risks facing their forests due to wildfire, drought, disease, and insect infestation. Participants will learn how to evaluate forest conditions, select trees for harvesting, and utilize woody biomass for improving forest health and wildlife habitat.

Participants are encouraged to bring a sack lunch and water for the day. More information about workshop activities will be provided closer to the workshop. The workshop will take place entirely outside. Masks are not required, but participants are welcome to wear them.


Saturday, April 23, 2022

9:30am – 3:30pm

Darrington, WA

Exact location will be sent to workshop registrants, as the workshop is being held in a private forest.

Register for the workshop


Instruction will be a combination of lecture, demonstration, and hands-on activities, including:

  • Stand Assessment 101: How to “read” and understand what is happening in your forest from an ecological perspective. Topics include species competition, tree canopy classes, and timber quality.
  • Forest Management Goals & Options: Discuss strategies for reducing fire risk, improving timber growth and quality, and increasing resilience to climate change.
  • Tree Selection for Thinning: The rhyme and reason for thinning from below, thinning across diameters, tree spacing, and species selection.
  • Tree Marking Exercise: Practice marking trees for thinning.
  • Tree Felling 101: Participants observe basic tree felling techniques. Open face & boring cut for larger diameter trees. Felling small diameter trees. Dealing with a “hang-up”. Limbing & bucking.
  • Utilizing Cut Material: Strategies include lop & scatter, habitat piles, habitat logs, firewood, chipping, etc.
  • Funding Forest Stewardship: How to fund your forest health work through cost-share programs.



Participants can sign up for a limited number of free two-hour site visits with a forester. During the site visit, the forester will help landowners refine plans for managing their forest and answer site specific questions. To register for a free site visit, please email kirk@nnrg.org.



Kirk Hanson | Northwest Natural Resource Group
Stacey Dixon | Snohomish County Conservation District



Northwest Natural Resource Group & Snohomish Conservation District

This material is based upon work supported by USDA/NIFA.

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