Fire is as natural a part of Pacific Northwest forests as the rain and sun. And while the type and frequencies of wildfire differs east and west of the Cascades, landowners everywhere can prepare their homes and forests for wildfire if it arrives. Looking thoughtfully at the land you steward is a critical step to reducing wildfire risk and improving your forest’s to resilience. Below we’ve listed questions you should be asking of yourself, your land manager, and your neighbors as you prepare your forest for wildfire. Preparing your home and property for wildfire: Have you created a plan for
Tree by tree, Tierra Learning Center is coaxing 250 acres of dark dense woods into open forests with room for larger trees and resilience to wildfire. Tucked amid the picturesque hills of Sunitsch Canyon, just a few miles up the Chumstick Valley outside of Leavenworth, there is a collaborative community of artists, educators, learners, farmers, and land stewards. This is Tierra Learning Center, a member of NNRG’s Forest Stewardship Council® group certificate, where care takers are carrying out fuel reduction and thinning projects to protect the community and help the forest regain characteristics of wildfire resilience. Signpost with some of Tierra
Imagine stepping into your forest at night and being utterly swarmed by flies, mosquitoes, beetles, and moths. Glad that’s not the case? Thank a bat. Bats flit through our Pacific Northwest forests every night, but it’s easy to forget they exist. After all, we almost never encounter them (except on October 31st, when they appear taped to our windows, carved into pumpkins, and ringing our doorbells begging for candy). And yet—if all bats disappeared overnight, we’d likely notice their absence very quickly as insect populations boomed and our evening walks became nightly games of “let’s see who can carry on a
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
As the climate changes, it isn’t enough to think about the species that make up the tree canopy. [Editor’s note: This post first appeared on *wink* April 1, 2019.] We must consider the understory as well — currently composed of a variety of species in western Washington, from devil’s club and skunk cabbage on the wetter sites to evergreen huckleberry, sword fern and salal in drier locations. Immediately after harvest, in gaps that are left in the forest, we can expect species such as red alder and fireweed to take root. But in several decades, climatologists tell us that western
Snags, large down logs, and big decadent trees provide food and shelter to more than 40 percent of wildlife species in Pacific Northwest forests. They are important structures for cavity-dependent birds and small mammals, food sources for woodpeckers and other foragers, and slowly release nutrients into the ecosystem with the help of decomposer critters.