Header image via ForestWander. The fisher (Pekania pennanti) is a small, carnivorous mammal native to North American forests, a member of the weasel family with quick reflexes and great climbing skills. It’s roughly the size of a housecat, and is indisputably cute. Though now very rare in the Pacific Northwest as a result of habitat loss, hunting, and rodenticide poisoning, efforts are underway to reintroduce fishers into areas within their historical range. In Washington, fisher reintroductions have taken place in Olympic National Park and in the Cascade range, most recently in November 2021 near Lake Ozette. Gary Elmer and Jackie Gardner
Skokomish Park at Lake Cushman is a scenic, 500-acre forest and campground on Lake Cushman in the Olympic Peninsula. Every year hundreds of campers visit the park to swim and fish on over 8 miles of freshwater shoreline and to hike and bike over 9 miles of trails. You wouldn’t know it from visiting, but Skokomish Park has gone through a number of legal changes over the years, ending in a land transfer as part of a large settlement. This settlement centered around the relicensing of two Tacoma Public Utilities operated dams on the North Fork of the Skokomish River,
This January the Hansons embarked on a large reforestation project on their forest near Olympia, Washington. Comprising 18 acres and 5,200 seedlings, it’s been their most ambitious planting job to date — one that has had Hanson parents, kids, and grandkids weathering much of the current pandemic from deep in the forest.
In forest systems, hydrology and road systems are at odds with one another. Water wants to run down slopes and avoid barriers, while roads cut across slopes and aim to stay put. Managing your road system to minimize erosion and runoff takes forethought and more than a bit of careful engineering. Kyle Smith, the Forest Manager for The Nature Conservancy (TNC) of Washington, is a self-described road engineering geek and has taken great care in consolidating and updating the road system at Ellsworth Creek Preserve. The 8,000 acre preserve, which is FSC certified through NNRG’s group certificate, is located near
Sarah Deumling has noticed some changes in her forest over the past 20 years.
There’s a little less water to go around, and her family’s land, Zena Forest in the Willamette Valley of Oregon, is a little hotter and drier during the summer. Why? These changes are consistent with climate models’ predictions of the way Oregon climate is shifting under the influence of global warming.
Regular, rigorous monitoring is an important part of good forest stewardship. No one knows this better than Chris Goodman. Chris and his family own and take care of Back40 Quinault Forest, an aptly named 40-acre forest near Lake Quinault in Grays Harbor County. Since acquiring the forest in 2008, monitoring has been a critical component of how Chris manages his forest. In conversation Chris mentions monitoring canopy closure, seedling growth, trees per acre, soil pH, and air temperature—not to mention elk browse, camera trap photos, bird box usage, elk herd movements, and bear damage. (Phew!) His strategy has its roots
Ayers’ Last Stand has roots that go four generations deep. When Matt Patton and his kids play in their forest, they’re climbing, hiding, and running around some of the same trees Matt’s great-great-grandfather knew. Matt’s kids are the sixth generation in his family to experience the forest—known as Ayers’ Last Stand—and likely not the last. Today the forest’s 210 acres are FSC®-certified through NNRG’s group certificate. But Ayers’ Last Stand came into being long before FSC® existed, when the family of Matt’s maternal great-great-grandfather moved from Connecticut to Thurston County in the 1890s. “They started farming on some of the