by Kelly Smith, NNRG volunteer On a cool and misty morning last September, Kirk Hanson and I visited Jackrabbit Farm in Southwest Washington. Kirk, Northwest Natural Resource Group’s Director of Forestry, needed to make observations and gather data for a new forest management plan for the farm, which had recently been funded through the USDA’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). My presence on this visit was due to my interest in “job shadowing” him on a site with elements of agroforestry and permaculture. As we drove down the forested driveway, a wild rabbit hopped across our path, welcoming us to
Up in the San Juans Islands, our Forest Stewardship Council®-certified member Blakely Island Timber cares for more than 2,200 acres on namesake Blakely Island. Harvesting timber is a tool to achieve their goal of stewarding the forest with a healthy, productive long into the future. Douglas-fir grows much more slowly in the San Juans than on the mainland, creating stronger wood with tighter rings and greater contrast between light spring bands and dark summer ones. This beautiful wood is harvested according to FSC® standards. BIT does all of its own processing, milling, drying, and manufacturing on site using an energy-efficient
Building a constructed log after thinning out small suppressed trees increases the economic value of future harvest while invigorating wildlife habitat and cleaning up slash. Kirk Hanson, our Directory of Forestry, talks about why he built his. Photo: Matt Freeman-Gleason
Many new forest owners are not aware that heavily altered forests need active management to improve ecosystem functions and reduce vulnerability to pests, diseases, and wildfire. New owners indicate purchasing forestland for privacy, aesthetics, wildlife, and as an investment. Ecologically-based forest management involves practices that align with new forest owners’ objectives, such as uneven-aged, multi-species silviculture, that increases biodiversity, and optimizes timber production for niche markets. The long-term goal of Empowering New Forest Owners in the Northwest (a Beginning Farmer & Rancher Development Program funded by the USDA) is to promote forest stewardship and market strategies that improve the health of
NOTE: This workshop was originally scheduled for February 24th but has been rescheduled for March 10th due to icy road conditions. If you already registered for the 2/24/18 workshop, please let us know if you can make it on March 10th by sending Cailin an email at email@example.com. See how your neighbors are thinning excess wood to improve forest health and reduce fire risk Saturday, March 10, 2018 | 9am-3pm | Orcas Island [button color=”accent-color” hover_text_color_override=”#fff” size=”medium” url=”https://www.eventbrite.com/e/forest-tour-thinning-overstocked-stands-for-health-and-productivity-tickets-43572015070″ text=”REGISTER TODAY!” color_override=””] Many forests in the San Juan islands are crowded with suppressed and unhealthy trees due to a lack of management. Excess
2017 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. Many thanks to this dedicated community of ecologically-minded forest owners, land managers and NNRG’s partners who steward biodiverse forests and contribute to the regional economy. Here are some highlights of our year: Accomplishments Hosted 5 workshops on ecologically-based forest management, fuels reduction, biochar creation, and
Safety and Woods Working (SAWW) courses provide training and practice in precision tree felling and small-diameter thinning. Level 1 & 2 – April 12-13, 2018 | Level 3 – April 14, 2018 | Leavenworth, WA REGISTER TODAY! Our friends at Tierra Learning Center are bringing this outstanding precision tree felling class back to north central Washington taught by SAWW instructor Pavel McGlave. Pavel was mentored by Ken Lallemont who traveled the world and helped develop training programs that emphasize efficiency and technique that will improve productivity, help reduce chainsaw related accidents and increase overall safety awareness. This course will change
Paul Butler has had a life-long love of forests. Now that he and his wife steward their own forest they’ve taken steps to care for and enjoy their land. Paul tells us how his relationship with his woods has deepened over time and what actions he’s taking to make the forest healthy.