In Your Words: How Small Forest Landowners are Responding to COVID-19 Outbreak

Earlier this month, DNR Small Forest Landowner Office Manager Tami Miketa penned a note to readers with tips on how to take care of their mental health and get through the COVID-19 outbreak and its subsequent fallout. In her column, she asked landowners how they are staying safe and staying sane during the pandemic. The following is a selection of their responses.

****

Thanks for many good suggestions during this trying time.

My means of coping is to apply for the Forestry program in order to assure I am doing my utmost to improve the land I live on. I am applying for the deferred forestry program, as well as building a garden, which will operate as a community-supported agriculture project to include neighbors in the efforts and harvest. Community-building seems to be the appropriate response and brings much needed solace to know we are doing our best. We are strictly quarantined as I have an extremely vulnerable partner to this disease. We count our (many) blessings every day and try to do our part to build community and take care of each other.

Blessings to all … this too shall pass.

****

Thank you for your suggestion for maintaining the health and wellness of ourselves, our families, and our communities. They are wise and much appreciated, but I would suggest that you missed one very obvious suggestion – get out and enjoy your forest! You can maintain social distancing, get some fresh air and exercise, enjoy the various signs of spring out in the woods – birds, plants, and wildlife – and maybe even lay out your plans for managing your tree farm!

****

I appreciated your newsletter sentiments at this difficult time. You included many helpful suggestions to live each day focused on what’s truly important.

I always turn to gardening to ground myself in times of stress & when my mind is whirling with “what ifs” or “I should haves.”

Some of the wonders I witnessed this week while gardening: a hummingbird collecting dried seed fluff from my clematis for a nest, and a cascade frog, fat with eggs, I think, sunning itself on a slate flagstone.

Witnessing but a moment in the life of just two of the many creatures with which I share my garden made me feel more connected to the planet.  I also experienced a surge of joyful gratitude.

I really enjoy the DNR monthly e-newsletter — I always learn something about the natural world. It was a treat to see a slight departure in content. You hit the nail on the head and your sentiments resonated with me, and I’m sure with many other readers. Stay well in mind and body.

****

WOW! Thank you for such level-headed, calm advice. I posted immediately to my Facebook friends, many of whom are in recovery programs and several of whom have expressed how stressed they are by the current situation during zoom meetings we have set up during this period. How wonderful it was of you to “step away” and focus on the important things at this time.

****

In the grand scheme of things, this is the most important message you have ever written in the newsletter. Forestry will be front and center again someday, and the SFL community will go back to politicking for priorities, but people’s well-being and the kindness and serving others is more important that a few trees and some fish (forests and oceans too). I am impressed with your departure from the norm to offer some hope in this crazy time. Good for you.

****

First, I would like to thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and compassion with everyone. I think there are many things for people to learn and adjust to throughout this process and the current events. 

I think and have shared with my wife that one of the greatest things to be gained from the stay-at-home opportunity is the reconnection with relationships. 

Most of us are a part of two family careers and generally pass through the home and are focused on the things going on at our jobs. Many people have a relationship but are not in a relationship. It can only be good to get reacquainted with those closest to us. I believe it will make all of us stronger. 

Additionally, we will all realize what we really need to survive comfortably and what we can live without.  I believe that will also make us all stronger. 

Finally, developing a sense of community will most likely be a part of the final picture of this time. People helping people and, also, people feeling comfortable asking others for help when they need it. Asking for help is sometimes viewed as a weakness instead of a strength. 

Even with all the negative side of this virus, I generally search and acknowledge the positive parts and look forward to those things as we all process our fears, stresses and concerns over the weeks and months ahead.

Thanks again, and stay safe and healthy.

****

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Get to Know a Forester: Sean Alexander

This month, we are featuring one of our partners, Sean Alexander, the new WSU Extension forestry coordinator for Northeast Washington. Wherever you meet the third-generation Washingtonian, be it the forests or the lanes of the local bowling alley, he’s never too far away from pine. 

Greetings!

My name is Sean Alexander, and I am delighted to introduce myself as the new Northeastern Washington forestry extension coordinator for Washington State University. I will join the team led by Andy Perleberg and work closely with the DNR on education, outreach, and technical assistance.

I am currently completing my master’s degree at Washington State University in forest ecology and will begin working out of Colville in my new position within the next few months. As a third-generation Cougar (Go Cougs!), born and raised in the Tri-Cities, I am excited to serve the Eastern Washington forestry community.

At a young age, my father instilled in me a passion for the outdoors, whether it was fishing, boating on the Columbia River, or learning to shoot the BB gun (careful kid, you’re going to shoot your eye out).

In college, I figured out that I could connect my passion for nature to my future career. I completed two bachelor’s degrees, in wildlife conservation science and forestry. I was afforded many great opportunities, from conducting research in the Sierra Nevada to the slopes of Mount St. Helens. My master’s work is focused on silvicultural prescriptions on the Fremont-Winema National Forest of south-central Oregon. This area is dominated by dry pine and mixed-conifer forest types, very similar to Northeastern Washington.

While living in Pullman, I’ve had the opportunity to reconnect with the outdoors. Hunting has become a passion of mine, as it allows me to observe nature and helps me understand the requirements of providing food for the table. There is nothing better than sitting in a blind on a brisk fall morning, waiting for any movement down the draw, and watching the early activity of everyone else in the morning.

Sean Alexander, the new WSU Extension forester for Northeast Washington, is seen in his other natural habitat: a bowling alley.

I hope to begin exploring Northeastern Washington and continue to develop my hunting skills in this region, and the many other possibilities that this corner of the state has to offer. I’m an avid bowler, competing in the local Palouse Bowling Leagues, and I come from a big family, with 11 siblings and 12 nephews and nieces, so Thanksgiving is always a rowdy one.

I believe forestry is best conducted with an ecosystem approach, with a holistic view of many components to support sustainability and resilience. For example, protecting your home with fuels reduction, promoting habitat value, and maintaining economic sensibility can all be accomplished together. I look forward to working with landowners to accomplish these goals.

Since I was a little kid, I’ve always had a passion for helping others and a skill for educating and communicating. Being able to tie together my passion for forestry with my passion for education, while being able to serve the people of Washington, is truly the most rewarding job someone could ask for.

As I take the next step in my life, I am excited to set my roots and begin building a relationship with those who I get to serve. I am hopeful that I will be a strong resource for local landowners who desire to further develop their own skills in forest management, and together we can help build-up Washington’s forests.

If you’re going to be in Chewelah on June 26 for the forest field day, come by! I’d love to meet you and discuss projects you have going on and ideas you may have for extending education to the region. If not, feel free to reach out and say hello at sean.alexander@wsu.edu!

Announcement, Event, and Other News

Due to the current situation with COVID-19, most upcoming events have been canceled or postponed. However, the following events are still on the calendar. Please frequently check the WSU Extension website at forestry.wsu.edu to ensure these events are still occurring.

Log-Grown Specialty Mushroom Webinar

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

 

Forest and Rangeland Owners Field Day (details to come)

Chewelah

Friday, June 26, 2020

 

Family Forest Field Day (details to come)

Winlock

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Get to Know a Forester: Todd Olson

We recently sat down with Todd Olson, the new regulation assistance forester within the Small Forest Landowner Office. The lifelong Northwesterner has worked with DNR for more than a quarter-century, and may bleed purple if you took an increment borer to him.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I grew up in the Pacific Northwest and gained a strong interest in forestlands and our diverse landscape throughout the state. Starting as a wildfire engine crew member in 1994, my interest was sparked to pursue a career with the DNR. Following studies at Green River Community College, I transferred to the University of Washington and graduated with a B.S. degree in Forest Management. I’ve been fortunate to be with the DNR as a permanent employee since 1998. My career spans from State Lands in the Boulder Unit (Monroe), to a Forest Practices Forester, Compliance Monitoring Field Coordinator, and now with Small Forest Landowner Office. I am grateful to the mentors I‘ve had along the way.

In my free time I enjoy traveling with my son, Zack; Husky sports; community involvement; fishing; biking; reading; long moonlit strolls on the beach; and, of course, humor.

What do you emphasize when talking to small landowners?

Listening.

Many times, small forest landowners want to be heard. The value of good communication allows the landowner to express their values and their goals. Then I can offer suggestions and prepare the landowner or landowners to meet their objectives within the complicated structure of Forest Practices Rules. I do this while keeping in mind that this may be the only forest practices activity that the landowner may conduct on their property for their generation.

Describe your job.

I am the statewide Small Forest Landowner Regulation Assistance Forester.

I am available to help small forest landowners with questions and site visits relating to understanding and applying Forest Practices Rules and Board Manual guidance. This role involves providing information so that our small forest landowners are equipped to submit a Forest Practices application that achieves their goals and meets Forest Practices standards. Some of the tools available to landowners include alternate plans, long-term applications, 20-acre-exempt harvest activities, harvest regime options/regulations, road construction/maintenance options, management strategies and Forest Practices activities, rule requirements, and water typing/riparian management zone issues. I can help with all of these.

Many common questions can be handled by local DNR regional offices or Forest Practices staff. Check our website for phone numbers and locations of DNR regional offices. For Example: how to fill out an FPA basic answers like legal descriptions, riparian management zone codes, how to label units/stream segments, activity map inclusions, (or other topics that can be easily handled with the instructions), complete application standards, field marking requirements, classes of Forest Practices, forestland to non-forestland conversion activities, and other non-forestland issues (such as trees near permanent structures frequented by humans).

Basically, my role is to help our small forest landowners navigate the sometimes-complex world of Forest Practices rules.

Why do you think our work is important? 

Our work is important towards maintaining forests for multiple purposes and ultimately to keep lands from being converted to non-forestland, especially on the west side of the Cascades. This includes helping landowners across the state to meet their goals while maintaining working forests for recreation, wildlife habitat, timber production, water quality, resiliency to potential climate changes, forest health, and aesthetics. Assisting with effective management can improve forest health, which is especially beneficial east of the Cascades in reducing catastrophic fire potential. Yes, I believe in these concepts for small forest landowners across the landscape; they’re not just words or phrases. To me, it’s a major part of being a forester.

What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind?

To impress upon others that the mission is important. However, it is more important to take care of those around us, especially on the fire line, but also in the field, the shop, or the office.

What is your favorite kind of tree and why?

The Alaska yellow cedar (Chamaecyparis nootkatensis). A great tree with many uses. It’s really cool to view in its native setting and nearby you just might find a husky on the go.

I look forward to interacting with folks at upcoming meetings. Effective communication will be practiced to the best of my ability, which is really beneficial to understanding, consistency, and goodwill.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact me at 360-902-1029 or todd.olson@dnr.wa.gov.

Anything else you would like to add?

Go DaWgs!

Announcements, Events, and Other News

If you are reading a paper copy of this newsletter, links for these events can be found at the WSU Extension Forestry website: forestry.wsu.edu

Forest Health and Wildfire Seminars

Learn what makes forests healthy or unhealthy and how to recognize when there’s a problem on your property. Topics include insects, diseases, and drought, including their environmental roles and the important interactions between them. Learn about what property owners should do (and not do) to increase tree resilience and mitigate impacts.

Forest Stewardship Coached Planning

If you own wooded property, our flagship course will teach you how to assess your trees, avoid insect and disease problems, and attract wildlife. State experts will help you develop your own Forest Stewardship Plan to keep your woods on track to provide enjoyment and income for years to come.

Ties to the Land – Succession Planning for Landowners

Ties to the Land is an award-winning succession planning workshop offered by WSU Extension. Workshop participants learn about the legal and economic aspects of transferring a farm, forest, or ranch from one generation to the next.

  • Ellensburg – December 7 (details coming)

Winter School

The Forest Owners Winter School is a hands-on, interactive educational event for families who own forestland in Washington. Whether you live on your land or are an absentee owner, this is a great opportunity to learn how to gain more benefits from your family forest no matter where it is located in the state.

  • Colville – February 1 (details coming)
  • Vancouver – February 8
  • Auburn – February 29 (details coming)

Can’t find the event you were looking for? Visit forestry.wsu.edu or contact patrick.shults@wsu.edu.

Trail Camera Greatest Hits, Vol. 1

By Ken Bevis, Department of Natural Resources stewardship wildlife biologist, ken.bevis@dnr.wa.gov, with a little help from his friends

Trail cameras are an amazing and relatively new tool that allow landowners to put out a camera “trap” and collect images of whatever sort of critter passes through the trigger lane.

It’s amazing –trail cameras allow us to gather immediate evidence of animals that are seldom, or never, actually seen by people. Our presence is usually so loud and clunky that the finely refined senses of wild animals are forewarned long before we arrive and they are not visible. Globally, these cameras are being used to study reclusive species such as tigers and snow leopards with some success.

I put out a call some time back for submissions of your “greatest hits” to put out in an article. Here are a few of my favorites, (hopefully identified correctly to the person who set the camera and the location).

Question: If I put out the camera, but the animal triggers the shutter, who is the “photographer”? Or is there one? I think the critter should be cited, but I will stick with the convention of who put the camera out.

Newer cameras have great capability and aren’t very expensive. I am sometimes asked for recommendations on brand and type, but I think they are all pretty good. Be sure they have an infrared setting for night, however, as the old flash versions can scare flighty animals away.

Also, placement is key. It is good to practice in a known spot, easy to check, angle and height. Experimenting is really fun.

The following are some of my favorite images. Send me some more and we will do this again! I tried to find out the locations and full names for the images, and in most cases know, but a few were sent a while back and all I have is the name. Please let me know if your picture is in here and I somehow left out the proper location.

These images were selected for species represented, and sometimes a bit of storytelling!

trail camera cougars
Cougars – Wally Soroka, near Colville
trail camera coyotes
Coyotes pick at a deer carcass in the Methow Valley – Ken Bevis, DNR
trail camera deer
Deer ford a river – Dave New, Pilchuck Tree Farm
trail camera moose
Moose – Eslick, Blue Mountains
trail camera flying squirrel
Flying squirrel on a box – Alan Mainwaring, Northeast Washington
trail camera bucks
Two whitetail bucks fighting – Dave Baumgartner, Blue Mountains
trail camera nursing fawn
A whitetail deer fawn nurses from its mother – Dave Baumgartner, Blue Mountains
trail camera coyote portrait
Coyote – Dave Ingebright, Granite Falls
trail camera bobcat
Bobcat – Maurice Miller
trail camera vultures
Turkey vultures – Wiggins, Hood Canal
trail camera family
Small forest landowners, seen in their natural habitat – Dave New and family, Pilchuck Tree Farm

Thanks for the submissions! Let’s do this again, and when you send me the pics, let me know some of the relative specifics so I won’t lose track.

Send your best shots to ken.bevis@dnr.wa.gov with information on your general location.

Trail cameras are amazing tools. I encourage you to use them!

Watering Seedlings: Does it Make Sense?

By Matt Provencher, DNR Western Washington Stewardship Forester, matthew.provencher@dnr.wa.gov

Over the past few years, drought has been in the news, with Washington state seeing several years both warmer and drier than normal.

Drought stress is apparent in forests, and people are taking notice. There have been some recent articles in Forest Stewardship Notes and the Small Forest Landowner News regarding the impact that this can have on trees.

drought weakened tree ken bevis
The central tree in this forested stand near Everett was likely weakened by drought. (Photo by Ken Bevis, DNR)

The relatively wet July we’ve just experienced isn’t enough to change things too much.

Concerned landowners may be watching their newly planted seedling succumb to drought. More and more are asking me, “Should I water them?”

Amy Grotta, who works for the Oregon State University Forestry and Natural Resources Extension for Columbia, Washington and Yamhill counties there, wrote a great blog on this very question in July 2018, which you can read here. What she wrote very much applies to landowners here in Washington. I’ll summarize her thoughts and add some of my own …

In general, in a forested environment, the answer to the question “Should I water my seedlings?” is no. After all, it’s not even practical in many instances. But even if you have a relatively small acreage with a relatively small number of trees, there are still things to consider when deciding whether to water.

First and foremost are weeds or other competing vegetation. If you’re watering those along with your trees, you may be doing more harm than good. Second, how are you affecting natural root development? Amy’s article refers to a study that looked at this question, and some evidence shows that supplemental watering promotes shallow root growth. In other words, the roots stay higher in the soil profile and won’t grow deep enough to access moisture found deeper in the ground. This could potentially lead to the trees being water-stressed even in non-drought years.

doug fir drought kill ken bevis
This Douglas-fir near Olympia was likely killed by drought conditions. (Photo by Ken Bevis, DNR)

If you feel like you need to water your seedlings anyway, Amy has some good tips in her article to try to make it successful. The trick is to water slowly to ensure that the water is getting down deep into the soil and not running off, along with controlling competing vegetation.

As Amy states in her article, it’s important to remember that Douglas-fir is well adapted to dry summers – and that many, many trees are planted every year, and the vast majority of those survive without any watering.

More important than watering to forest landowners is to know their site and ensure they are planting the proper tree for that site. This means planting an appropriate species from the correct seed zone, the appropriate stock type for the conditions, planting to and maintaining an appropriate density of trees, and using microclimates such as planting on the north side of stumps or downed logs. And don’t forget about managing the competing vegetation to ensure that the trees are getting the water and nutrients from the soil!

Helping Landowners Learn From Their Peers About Harvest Options

Northwest Natural Resource Group and Oregon State University are reaching out to forest owners for a voluntary study about timber harvesting methods to understand how they affect both financial and forest health outcomes.

The goal of this research project is to help landowners who are considering a timber harvest to learn from the experiences of others. There is limited information about the economics of commercial timber harvests that use thinning or uneven-aged management, and how those results compare with other harvest methods.

The researchers are looking to survey Oregon and Washington forest owners who harvested timber from their forest in the past five years (since 2014) and are willing to share information about the silvicultural methods and financial outcomes from these recent timber harvests. The survey asks detailed questions about the harvest techniques and equipment used, the volume of timber harvested, cost of the harvest work, and the harvest revenues.

The results of this study will be shared with forest owners through a variety of methods including articles, papers, and classes taught by NNRG, OSU, and partner organizations. Data in the study will remain confidential within the research team. Information will be aggregated so it cannot be traced to any individual ownership. Data will be collected from through June 2019.

If you are willing to share recent harvest information with NNRG and OSU, contact Lindsay Malone, one of the project researchers, at lindsay@nnrg.org. Lindsay can provide you with a copy of the survey.

Learn more about this research project at nnrg.org/thinning_study.

Lindsay Malone, Director of Programs, Northwest Natural Resource Group, lindsay@nnrg.org

Announcements, Events and Other News

Webster Forest Nursery Seedling Ordering Process Changes

Due to increased demand, DNR’s Webster Forest Nursery will no longer be taking seedling orders on a first-come, first-served basis.

Between August 1 and September 6, interested landowners can contact the nursery to place their names on a register that will be randomized and used to generate a priority list. Anyone who wants to purchase seedlings from DNR who misses that cutoff date will be put at the bottom of the register.

Full details are available on the DNR website.

2019 WFFA Annual Meeting and Field Tour

20th Anniversary of Forests & Fish: Past, Present and Future

The Olympic, South Sound and Grays Harbor Chapters of the Washington Farm Forestry Association (WFFA) invite you to join us on the Kitsap Peninsula on May 2-4, for our 2019 Annual Meeting. The Best Western Silverdale Beach Hotel in Silverdale is the location for events on Thursday and Friday.  The Silverdale Beach Hotel has offered special room rates of $94 plus tax (available until March 30).

Twenty years after Forests and Fish is an opportune time to review where we’ve been, where we are, and where we and others think we are headed. Historical views on the State’s Forests and Fish commitments (past); updates on 20 years of legislative and regulatory efforts (present); and crystal ball predictions for the future by natural resource leaders (future) will provide multiple perspectives aimed at answering: How do family forest owners fit into the future needs and aspirations of other agencies/stakeholders? Do family forest landowners and rural Washingtonians matter? Will future generations feel the love from city folks? Will they have a greater “social license” making it cool to be a tree farmer?

When and Where

The annual meeting is scheduled for May 2 and May 3 at the Best Western Silverdale Beach Hotel, 3703 NW Bucklin Hill Road, Silverdale. The field tour is scheduled for May 4 at the Five Springs Tree Farm, 3268 SE Five Springs Lane, Olalla.

Registration

The conference registration fee is $150 per person until March 15. From March 15 until April 15, the fee is $165 per person. Registration closes April 15. Registration includes: Friday breakfast, educational programs, break refreshments, the Washington Tree Farm Program Awards Ceremony and Luncheon and the Friday night dinner banquet. The Saturday Field Tour is $25 per person, including a light breakfast and lunch buffet. The Field Tour can be purchased separately from, or in addition to, the conference registration. You can choose to attend only the annual meeting, only the Saturday Field Tour or attend all three days’ events.

For complete details about the WFFA Annual Meeting and to register, go to wafarmforestry.org.

WSU Extension Forestry Events

Forest Health Seminars

Learn what makes forests healthy or unhealthy and how to recognize when there’s a problem on your property. Topics include insects, diseases, and drought, including their environmental roles and the important interactions between them. Learn about what property owners should do (and not do) to increase tree resilience and mitigate impacts.

Forest Stewardship Coached Planning

If you own wooded property, our flagship course will teach you how to assess your trees, avoid insect and disease problems, and attract wildlife. State experts will help you develop your own Forest Stewardship Plan to keep your woods on track to provide enjoyment and income for years to come.

  • Buckley – Thursday starting April 18

Webinar Opportunities

2019 Forest Owner Field Days

The annual Family Forest Field Day attracts hundreds of landowners from all around the region to learn about a variety of forestry topics in a hands-on setting, including forest health, wildlife habitat and management, thinning and pruning, chainsaw safety, noxious weed management, and many more.

  • Glenwood – Saturday, June 8 [registration coming soon]
  • McCleary – Saturday, August 24 [registration coming soon]

Get to Know a Forester: Boyd Norton

We recently sat down with Boyd Norton, a Washington native and longtime forester who was named the 2017 Tree Farm Inspector of the Year. Norton works as a stewardship forester in the Washington State Department of Natural Resources’ Northwest Region office in Sedro-Woolley. He discussed why he got involved in forestry, what he tells small landowners he works with and his stance on garden gnomes, among other things.

Picture of Boyd Norton
Boyd Norton

Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from and how did you become interested in forestry?

I grew up in Puyallup, Washington, when it was still a small town surrounded by berry and daffodil fields. The area I grew up in was mostly woods, and we had a small property with trees. Dad was from a family of loggers — prior to “power saws” — and he logged and cleared land along with his day job as a boom man (pushing log rafts around in harbor) and longshoreman. I spent time fishing and hunting, so it just seemed like a natural fit.

How long have you been working in forestry? Why did you go into this field?

I graduated in 1975 from college and went to work, so that would be 43 years. When I was young the timber industry and export of old growth Douglas-fir and noble fir was in full throttle, along with growing up surrounded by forest and a family background helped. Also, I knew loggers and foresters would never be rich, but even in the Depression and years past, there was always work in the woods.

What sort of schooling and jobs have you had?
I have an associate’s degree of applied sciences in forest technology. I received the degree through Green River Community College in Auburn, Washington.

Work? Wow, that’s a long list. Cutting and selling firewood, boom man, part-time longshoreman, pre-commercial thinning, tree planting, slash burning, fire suppression. First forest tech with St. Regis Paper, King Creek Tree Farm. DNR. … I was a fire warden, worked on DNR pre-sales crew, as a “tech 2,” served in training as Assistant Unit Forester.

Then, back when we were generalists at DNR in all aspects of forestry, I did road design, silviculture, harvest unit planning, contract administration, worked with farm forestry, worked with landowners as a service forester, and Timber Fish and Wildlife (TFW) Forest Technician when the TFW process was added to the Forest Practices rules in 1987. I was the Forest Practices unit forester in the Nooksack Basin. That job included fire protection, fire crew supervision, service forestry, and eventually stewardship forestry.

I became a Small Forest Landowner Forester when the office was created in 2001. Then I did a stint as the Regional Forest Practices Coordinator for Northwest Washington, and now I am the Stewardship and Forest Practices Technical Assistant Forester for Northwest Washington. I have training in fire as Type 1 State, Type 2 National Logistics Section Chief, where I have instructed and led state fire program training and co-instructor Incident Command System logistics chief, with training at the national level. I have served 16 years on incident management teams. I served with the incident management team assisting with the aftermath of the Thirtymile Incident, where four firefighters tragically died). It was a reminder that all assignments come with risk and hard times.

What do you emphasize when talking to small landowners?

I always start reminding them that we are here to meet their goals and objectives. If we can’t determine that simple concept, we might as well just share a pot of coffee.

Along with that, we need to show them the silvicultural processes that will help them, which includes forest health, the importance of maintaining growing healthy local forests, and leaving the ecological processes of disturbance and regrowth in the national parks, wilderness, and isolated forests where potential damage to infrastructure and human safety is lower.

I also go back to the objectives related to forest production that were included in the original legislation for Farm Forests Program way back in 1959.

Why do you think our work is important?

Because we help people with education and practical forest management, that helps all of us. I think society in general benefits, as we help provide habitats, clean water, future timber base, economic activity, and carbon sequestration in healthy forests, rather than a carbon-neutral situation from old trees slowing in growth and decaying.

What is your favorite kind of tree and why?

Douglas-fir, tall and large diameter, freshly felled and bucked into logs. The smell of chips and pitch, and knowing you had the ability to provide a renewable construction material and the start of the next generation of forest.

What do you think of gnomes as yard art and why?

Many people think I am a gnome (maybe? maybe not?) so, I think we need more gnomes everywhere. They are both compassionate about helping people, fierce in protecting the natural environment and insist on wise use without exploitation. Along with being compassionate with people, we are also passionate about doing the right thing and stand our ground when we must. Gnomes are awesome, and I’m proud to be considered one!