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.
2018 was a productive year for NNRG and the forests our members steward! We are so inspired by the landowners and managers in our community who worked to enhance habitat for threatened and endangered species, removed invasive species, planted a diverse array of native seedlings and shrubs, and pursued new markets for local wood products. These are highlights from 2018.
My family’s forestlands have grown to just over 200 acres in the past few years. Thirty of this is what I refer to as our “homestead” property, the first parcel my wife and I bought when we barely had two nickels to rub together in our mid-20’s, and on which we’ve recently completed a family cabin. The other 170 or so acres are comprised of two additional parcels that are part of the “Hanson Family Estate”, forestlands that my parents have invested in, and that I manage as a trust endowment for our family.
Pair Family Forest, situated in the Snoqualmie Valley just west of Duvall, had a serious invasives problem when the family purchased the land in 2005. About a third of the property was choked with tangled pockets of Himalayan blackberry thicket. The brambles had muscled out the native shrubbery and posed a serious problem for Wayne, who had visions of transforming his forest into a mixed-age, biologically-rich ecosystem.
Northwest Natural Resource Group and our partners have hosted ecological forestry workshops in the San Juan Islands since 2012. These resources are specifically for San Juan County forest owners who are interested in learning techniques to reduce fire risk, increase forest value, manage timber sales, market forest products, and improve the ecological and economic health of island forests.