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We are working with landowners in San Juan County to address the unique challenges of managing island forests for both ecological health and economic viability. Increasingly, forest owners in San Juan County are seeking guidance on how to manage their overstocked stands for improved forest health. They are also looking for creative ways to use the excess woody material that is a byproduct of restoration efforts. For the past six years, NNRG and our partners have worked in many island forests, conducting one-on-one site visits, developing management plans, and hosting tours and classes. In 2018, NNRG hosted a series of workshops
Great Peninsula Conservancy (GPC) just completed the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) certification process for Grovers Creek Preserve! Acquired by the Conservancy in 2015, the 197-acre preserve near Poulsbo boasts 60 acres of rare older growth forest including stands of western hemlock, Sitka spruce, western redcedar, and Douglas-fir. There are even 11.5 acres of late successional forested peat bog. These diverse habitats support beaver, black bear, mink, otter, salamanders, frogs, and more than 60 bird species. The forest surrounds a stretch of Grovers Creek, which provides habitat for Endangered Species Act-listed winter steelhead as well as coho and cutthroat. “GPC purchased
Eve Lonnquist can often be found working in the woods, just like her grandmother, who bought Cedar Row Farm in 1919 for $2000 and planted its namesake row of cedars. Nestled in the Nehalem River foothills, the 160-acre forest is stewarded by Eve, her two brothers and her partner Lynn Baker. The family enjoys taking care of the land and balances multiple goals, including recreation and income from timber harvest as well as providing wildlife habitat. They are FSC-certified through NNRG’s group certificate and are members of the Oregon Woodland Cooperative, selling bundled firewood to grocery stores around the Portland
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
Landowners in San Juan County are addressing the unique challenges of managing island forests for both ecological health and economic viability. NNRG and our partners have worked with many island forests, conducting one-on-one site visits, developing management plans, hosting tours and classes. Increasingly, landowners have sought instruction on how to manage their overstocked stands for improved forest health. They are also looking for creative ways to use the excess woody material that is a byproduct of stand improvements and restoration treatments. In 2017, we hosted a series of workshops for forest owners interested in reducing risks to their woodlands and using the extra woody biomass
NNRG is working with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) to help unlock carbon markets for family forest owners. We recently completed a forest carbon assessment for our FSC-certified member Clyde Tree Farm. Prepared with data from this unique forest, the assessment offers a rough estimate of the current level of forest carbon storage in the tree farm, the amount of CO2 to be captured over 100 years, and the influence forest management may have on carbon storage going forward. The ability for trees and forests to sequester and store carbon for extended periods of
2016 was an incredible year for Northwest Certified Forestry members and the forests they steward. Because of the dedicated community of ecologically-minded woodland owners, Pacific Northwest forests are healthier, more resilient homes for wildlife and people alike. Here are some highlights of our year: Accomplishments: We hosted 11 workshops on ecologically-based forest management, precision tree-felling, forest monitoring, and programs for natural resource professionals and engaged 267 participants. We conducted more than 92 site visits to forest landowners – including NCF members and beginning woodland owners. We completed 6 ecologically-based thinning projects across 65 acres We oversaw 4 forest restoration projects involving inter-planting, pre-commercial
Along the rocky shores of Orcas Island, YMCA Camp Orkila is a special place where the forest meets the sea. Campers describe the iconic Northwest destination as magical, Neverland, and Oz. The YMCA offers camp programs by summer and outdoor environmental education programs in the spring and fall, serving more than 17,000 campers and students each year. The iconic camp is a San Juan destination for fun, outdoor exploration, and learning. It’s also on its way to becoming a showcase demonstration forest for ecologically-based stewardship. Camp Orkila is a Conservation Member of NNRG’s Northwest Certified Forestry program, stewarding more than 170 acres of forest within the
Summer is the perfect time for major forest management activities like thinning trees, controlling weeds, and maintaining roads. Performing these stewardship activities in the dry season when sap flow is low will reduce damage to residual trees while minimizing soil compaction and other effects on forest ecosystems. Steward your Forest Clear winter debris from roads and trails for recreation and forest maintenance access. Conduct pre-commercial and commercial thinning. Be sure to wait until mid-June when the sap flow slows down as the bark on your trees is more vulnerable to damage until that time. Birds tend to fledge through July, so
Woodland owners in the Pacific Northwest are interested in maintaining forests that provide a broad range of ecological functions and economic goals. Enjoying wildlife and providing wildlife habitat are often motivators for stewarding woodlands. It’s important to understand how the habitat in your forest meets the needs of particular wildlife species and what you can do to maintain and enhance your forest for biodiversity. Many Northwest forests are in need of active forest management to create the complex forest structure, light for flowering plants, and space for food-producing shrubs that help wildlife thrive. Careful stewardship can help you to perpetually manage your forest on a
2015 was a productive year! Northwest Certified Forestry members showed their dedication to stewarding Pacific Northwest forests with ecologically-minded practices that contribute to the regional economy. We are so inspired by the forest stewards in our community who worked to enhance habitat for threatened and endangered species, remove invasive species, plant native seedlings and shrubs, pursue new markets, and do what it takes to nurture and sustain complex forest structure. Here are some highlights: Our Community 160 members across more than 162,000 acres in Washington and Oregon, More than 100 family forests and small businesses 12 youth camps and education centers 11
NNRG is kicking off a series about cost-share programs and resources available to woodland owners in Oregon and Washington. Over the next six weeks we’ll be sharing information about resources to fund stewardship activities in your forest. We’re focusing on the topics you’ve told us are important to you: developing management plans, improving timber quality, planting native trees and shrubs, removing invasive species, reducing fuel loads, and enhancing fish and wildlife habitat. We’re timing this series with the cutoff for 2016 EQIP funding in Washington State. This year, the Washington EQIP deadline is October 16, 2015. In Oregon, the cutoff
In southwest Washington, Clark County Department of Environmental Services exemplifies how to transition forest land from passive management to active management. Starting in 2011, the County developed forest stewardship plans for its recently acquired properties. Today, the County is using selective thinning and other techniques to improve overall health of these forest ecosystems that supports a diversity of plants and animals while generating a modest income from wood products. The County’s Forest Stewardship Council® certified forests at Camp Bonneville and Green Mountain are part of NNRG’s FSC group certificate. Learn more about Clark County’s sustainable forestry program.
The iconic Skagit Watershed is important to all of us for its production of timber, food, and fisheries. It is also significant in that it is the only river system in the Puget Sound region to support all five species of Pacific salmon. The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Northwest Natural Resource Group (NNRG) are collaborating to help woodland owners assess forest health and evaluate stream habitat and forest roads. Through this partnership we are reaching out to landowners in the Skagit Watershed to provide one-on-one site visits, workshops, and technical assistance. This project is supported by our partners: Skagit Conservation District,
The Washington State cutoff for 2016 EQIP funding is Friday, July 17, 2015 (Edit: The 2016 EQIP deadline has been extended to October 16, 2015 in WA. The Oregon 2016 EQIP deadline is January 15, 2016.) The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is a technical and financial assistance program managed by the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. EQIP is a cost-share reimbursement program that helps forest owners pay for a certain amount of a conservation practice by reimbursing landowners for a percentage of agreed to costs. Forest owners use EQIP to pay for materials, equipment, consultants, and labor to complete practices (see the list below).
NNRG returned to the San Juans this spring, this time assisting Camp Orkila prepare for pre-commercial thinning as well as develop a forest management plan for Satellite Island. Kirk Hanson, Director of Forestry, spent the better part of a day on Satellite Island, a 116-acre remote camping island owned by the YMCA that is nestled along the northern side of Stuart Island, approximately 8 miles NW of Orcas Island. The YMCA received EQIP funding to hire NNRG to develop a forest management plan for Satellite Island. Camp Orkila acquired Satellite Island in the late 1940’s as a gift from the
Butler Family Forest, Olympia, WA Nestled along Pants Creek and the Capital Forest near Olympia sits a 40 acre FSC® certified forest owned by Paul and Peggy Butler, and Jim Stroh and Jan Yancy. Paul, a retired Evergreen State College professor, and his partners bought the property from another former Evergreen professor in 1990 and believes that the property had not been thinned or logged in over fifty years. The property hosts a mix of mature Douglas-fir, western red cedar, western hemlock, red alder and big-leaf maple, as well as dense thickets of young, small diameter alder and vine maple.
Bethlehem Lutheran Church forestland, Belfair, WA Story told by Neva Knott, edited by NNRG What would you do if you inherited over one hundred acres of forestland in need of restoration? Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Marysville, WA was faced with this quandary when a member of the congregation bequeathed 132 acres of Hood Canal forestland to the Church. The land had been logged heavily in the 1970s and received minimal attention in the interim years. This lack of replanting and management of timberland on productive soils resulted in a tangle of brushy understory and densely growing trees; with nothing
Northwest Trek, Eatonville, WA By Jennifer Whitelaw Northwest Trek is a 723-acre wildlife park near Eatonville. 435 of those acres feature a fenced in free-roaming area where native Northwest animals can be viewed from a moving tram. Take the tour and you will hear about the animals from one of the naturalists on staff. You will also hear about Northwest Trek’s efforts to steward their forest using sustainable forest management techniques. In 2008 Northwest Trek achieved FSC® certification, the highest environmental standard in the world for forest management, through the Northwest Natural Resource Group’s (NNRG) Northwest Certified Forestry program. The