Kittitas Chapter

A Very Informative Article

The article: "A CLIMATE RESILIENCE GUIDE FOR SMALL FOREST LANDOWNERS IN EASTERN WASHINGTON"  provides extensive information about anticipated efffects of climate change on forests and actions you can take to help keep your forest healthy and thriving. Check it out here

2023 Fall Meeting Report

30+ members and guests enjoyed socializing and a potluck lunch, followed by presentation on fish habitat restoration projects on the Hundley property of the Yakima River by Mitch Long from Kittitas Conversation Trust and Katrina Strathmann from the Mid-Columbia Fish Enhancement Coalition.  You can view the presentation on the Upper Yakima Restoration Project by Mitch and Katrina here.

Kittitas Chapter President Phil Hess was named 2023 Washington State Forester of the Year by the Society of American Foresters

We are saddened to report that our long time founding member Violet Carollo past away on Sept. 30, 2023. Violet was a strong Tree Farm advocate and instrumental in promoting Kittitas WFFA from 1990. She is featured in the WFFA "Stewards of the Land"  book

Mitch Long, Bill Hundley, Phill Hess, Katrina StrathmannYoung ponderosa pine plantation at the Hundleys





2022 Fall Meeting Report

On Saturday, Sept 17, 2022, our traditional fall potluck BBQ and annual meeting was held at the Robert & Shirley Clark tree farm on Markovich Road. This was a huge success with over 25 in attendence including State President Dick Allescio and Vivian. Robert Clark and son Dennis gave us a well prepared slide show of there recent harvest followed by a walking tour of the operation which emphasized forest health, fire resiliency and wildlife habitat values and features.  It was a beautiful day and wonderful to be able to have in person meetings again.

2022 Chapter Spring Meeting Presentation Video                                                                                            The chapter's spring meeting featured an update regarding the Central Cascades Forest managed by The Nature Conservancy (TNC).  The presenters were Melissa Speeg, Project Manager, Kittitas Conservation Trust, Katie Pofahl, Eastern Washington Community Relations Manager, TNC in Washington, and Jane Kiker, Conservation Transactions Director, TNC in Washington.  Chapter president Phil Hess also gave a chapter update. To watch the video,  click here.

The Kittitas Chapter meets twice a year, in the Spring and the Fall.  The Fall meeting is a potluck and BBQ at a member's tree farm, with a fund-raising raffle and election of officers.

  • Contact us for chapter information: (If this link doesn't work for you, copy/paste or type it into your email TO field.)
  • Please submit any news items and photos you think appropriate for our page to the above email.
  • To renew your membership, this link will take you to a help page with information and links to the renewal form for your account.  RENEW NOW.
  • Note: Clicking on a photo in the slide show at right will allow for manual viewing.

How to build fire adaptive communities for the future.
Oregon State University Cascades. Speaker: Dr. Erica Fischer | Assistant Professor, Civil & Construction Engineering, Oregon State University College of Engineering speaks about fire adaptive communities. Click Here to watch the video of this lecture.

BIG NEWS-- 2023-2024

Central Washington as just recently been identified as one of ten landscapes across the country to be part of the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy, which will address the Wildfire Crisis in the Western U.S. This is called the "Central Washington Initiative" and includes portions of Kittitas County. The Forest Service is receiving significant new funding to address the work required to increase forest resiliency and reduce risk to wildfire.  The USFS is just finishing up the NEPA process for the Upper Swauk Restoration Project involving 35,000 acres mostly visible from Hwy 97 over Blewett Pass.The Kittitas Chapter is participating in the advisory group for the CWI.  Let us know if you would like to be in the loop on this -- the email above.

Even Bigger News --

        Kittitas county was recently (2023) awarded $10 million under the Comunity Wildfire Defense Grant (CWDG). These funds will be used for targeted vegetation management priorities to achieve fire resileincy, mostly on private and munincipal land. The Kittitas Fire Adapted Communities Coalition (KFACC) was instumental in acquirint this grant. Chapter member Tony Craven is chairman of KFACC. We live in a fire prone area: in WA State, Kittitas county ranks 92 (on a scale of 1 to 100) in terms of wildfire risk (headwaters economics, 2022)

DNR News: Rachel Mazzacavallo (, Service Forester Corrodinator for E. WA and Amanda Moody, Service Forester or our area  ( will soon be providing a 2023-2024 update:

2021-2022 Shaded Fuel Break contracts: (100% funded, in strategic locations for community protection or firefighting) 

Weihl Road: shaded fuel break on private land along loping lane and ties into work along the north Cle Elum ridge on TNC, private, and TCF, completed May 2021, 49 acres.

Wildfire and Forest Health Techs & Washington Conservation Corps: completed 25.5 acres in 5 project locations of community beneficial fuels reduction work in Cle Elum, Roslyn, and Thorp. Completed Jaivate, and TCF, completed May 2021, 49 acres.nuary- April 2021 Primarily on city owned property.

Lambert and Taylor Road: shaded fuel break on 53.9 acres on private land along Lambert and Taylor roads on the east end of Cle Elum. Completed April 2022’

North Cle Elum fuels reduction: Fuels reduction along Big tail road, horizon ridge drive, forest ridge road, and 6th street in Cle Elum, in layout phase and layout to be completed in early May, approximately 125 acres but TBD, contract to be awarded mid to late summer.

Ridgecrest Road: shaded fuel break along Ridgecrest Road above Ronald, identified as high priority as alternate evacuation route for Pine Loch Sun and as a strategic fire control line above Ronald, acreage unknown but approx. 50 ac. Layout to begin spring 2022/ summer 2022.

Fuels Reduction cost-shares:  Kittitas County: 134 open fuels reduction cost-shares that cover 1537 acres, funding currently available for Kittitas County landowners.

DNR Regulatory Assistance Services: For information and contact numbers on the duties of Regulation Assistance Foresters and the Fish and Wildlife Biologist, click on this link.



The value of homes across the U.S. at risk of wildfire damage is more than  $1.5 trillion. Although not in the top 10, Kittitas County is Included in counties with the highest risk of loss!


In WA State, on a scale of 1 to 100, Kittitas County ranks 92 in terms of wildfire risk. ( Headwaters economics, Jan, 2022). "We can't keep the forest from burning, the only decision space we have is how it will burn" --- in the canopy or on the ground.  With vegetation management and prescribed fire we can keep wildfire out of the canopy and on the ground. 

Our goal is to make sure we pass on a green forested landscape to those that follow us ..... rather than grey of black .


This is why we participate in KFACC

KFACC 2023

Kittitas Fire Adapted Communities Coalition. KFACC is an in-person meeting every 2nd Wednesday of every month. This organization is providing a coordinated approach to assuring that Kittitas County becomes a FAC. KFACC is where the action is in helping our rapidly growing community can deal with the threat of Wildfire. Contact us at the email above for the latest meeting schedule. Read the KFACC 2021 report of activities here.

The Kittitas County Community Wildfire Protection Plan.  If you live or own land in the WUI we suggest you become familiar the CWPP. Click here to see a copy    This plan is scheduled for revision in 2024.


Chapter Polo Shirts with WFFA Logo Now Available

Lynnea Thibodaux organized the chapter polo shirt/vest project and we are now taking orders. See photo in slide show at the right. To place and order contact us at kittitas@wafarmforestry.comThese are high quality cotton-polyester shirts that come in women and men sizes.


Silvaseed Nursery in Roy, WA is looking for someone to set up a cone buying station for our seed zone. This would be for DF, PP and WL.  Cone buyers get paid a commission and organize cone collectors. For more details contact us at or call Mike Gerdes at Silvaseed: 253-843-2246 ---  We are seed zone 631. Silvaseed is a good place to buy seedlings for our area.

Other Sources of Trees and Shrubs:

A good source of Native Trees & Shrubs are available from WA Conservation District Nursery. For details click here.

Another good source is Derby Canyon Native Plants in Peshastin. Google Derby Canyon Native plants for their excellent website.


The Nature Conservancy (TNC):  Formed in 2019, the Checkerboard Partnership Planning Committee is a diverse and inclusive team united to permanently protect 27,000 acres of privately owned forest lands in upper Kittitas County which is managed by TNC. These lands are located in three distinct areas: Cabin Creek, Taneum, and the Cle Elum Ridge.

The Checkerboard Partnership is working to place the Cabin Creek and Taneum lands into the surrounding, contiguous state and federal ownership and believe the Cle Elum Ridge is a good fit as the Community Forest. As a Community Forest, Cle Elum Ridge will connect towns to an expansive trails network, thousands of acres of forest and the Teanaway Community Forest, while curtailing residential development that threatens the ridge. A community forest will benefit the local tourism and forestry economies while supporting public access, cross-boundary management, environmental education, and traditional tribal resources.

For more information about the Checkerboard Partnership, click here.



What is Tapash?  Tapash was established in 2007 between major government and tribal landowner agencies in the eastern Cascades of south-central Washington: including USFS, Yakama Nation, WA DNR, WA DFW, and TNC. The Collaborative provides a framework for cooperation and coordination to restore forest resistance &  resilence to wildfire and insect and disease attacks to 1.6 million acres. There are three ongoing restoration projects: Little Naches, Oak Creek, and the latest is Manastash-Taneum. These projects include tree thinning and prescribed burning contributing to wood supply and fire risk reduction. For more information click here.


----- MEMBERSHIP REPORT - Fall, 2023  ----
Thank-you all for renewing your membership !

Welcome New 2021-23 members: Lance Behrens, Judd Hesselroth, David & Hiroko Keller,  Rachel Massacavllo, Amanda Moody, John and Mary Wendt, Rosemary Dunkle, & Ryan Whitaker, Noah Nequette, Nolan Brewer, Kati Zander, Christine & Lance Peterson.

We have 75+ family and individual forest owners, forest contractors and others that share our values and interest in family forestry.

Thank-you all for your continuing support!

Our Chapter membership represents approximately 8,500 acres.

We are open for new members! Please invite; forest ownership is not a requirement.  If you do not own forestland, you can join as an Associate member. Click here for membership application:

WFFA Signs - if you do not have a WFFA sign or want another, send an email to the above chapter email.


Member News

One of our members is using goat grazing for managing vegetation in a shaded fuel break.  See in slide show at the right. This is in a area where there is no usual livestock grazing. Contact us for more details

Several of our members are conducting forest health and fire reseliency fuels reduction projects this year.  This means commercial and pre-commercial  thinning, ladder fuel pruning, slash disposal and log sales. See Examples in the slide show.

Factoid -  Kittitas County is 61% forested. There are 914,469 forested acres, mostly federal and state. There are 2,600 family forest owners representing 58,000 forest acres (source: UW State Forestland Database, 2007).

Other Kittitas Chapter Hot Topics - Summer 2022
Cost Share Assistance Available: Our local DNR Service Forester Amanda Moody is the go to person for the DNR Forest Health/Fuels Reduction Cost Share Program and other forestry assistance.  You can contact Amanda at 509-899-9671 or email:

LOG MARKETS - There is a local place to sell your logs: Western Wood LLC  has a log yard near Cle Elum. For information and log prices contact John Tortorelli at 206-310-2599 or Michelle Zaun at 360-825-1342. 

The majority of the logs on every load must be cut to the preferred 38' + 12" for the trim.

Remember: To harvest trees you need a FPA (Forest Practices Application) from WA DNR. It is advisable to have an active FPA to take advantage of fluctuations in log prices and contractor availability. A Long Term Application (LTA) is recommended. A LTA is good for 15 years vs the standard 3 year FPA.

FPA exceptions are: 5000 BF per year for personal use on the property and trees within a tree length and one-half of a structure.



WOOD TO ENERGY News -- 2022 -2023

The new biofuels plant in Lakeview Oregon is expected to convert 136,000 tons of woody biomass and forest by products in 15 million gallons of renewable fuels annually !!!

Forest BioMass is also being used for generating electricity!
For example: a 25 megawatt plant takes 600 BDT (bone dry tons)
A 25 MW plant requires 40 chip van loads per day.
A chip van roughly = 30 green tons or 15 BDT

We are also close to using thinned trees to produce BioChar - a great soil ammendment for farmers, nursuries and  home gardners.

KFACC is exploring wood to energy and Biochar possibilities under the USFS Wood Inovation Grant  funding now available. We're looking at the Air Curtain Burner, Inc CharBoss. Rose Beaton & Phil are following up on this.


Contact Us


President:    Phil Hess

Sec./Treas:    Patty O'Hearn


More information

The Kittitas Chapter meets twice a year, in the Spring and the Fall.  The Fall meeting is a potluck and BBQ at a member's tree farm, with a fund-raising raffle and election of officers.

Please submit any news items and photos you think appropriate for our page to the above email.


Archived Content

The Era of MegaFires multimedia presentation was shown in Cle Elum on Thursday, June 27th, at the Swauk - Teanaway Grange Hall. Chapter President, Phil Hess was the Moderator for a crowd of 35 people. If you haven't seen it yet, it's an excellent documentary about the current state of our forests and the rationale behind new forest management techniques. Take Home Messages: "The forest will burn -- The only decision space we have is how and when it will burn." "We have choices: If we're smart we will choose periodic mechanical thinning (commercial & pre-commercial) followed up with prescribed fire where it is practical". "The alternative are future forests that will look nothing like what we have been enjoying for the last 60-70 years." "Prior to Euopean settlement, 20% of North America burned each year" (Adapted from Dr. Paul Hessburg - Era of Megafires)

Kittitas WFFA 2019 Annual Meeting, potluck and BBQ was held on Saturday, September 7th,  hosted by the Monahan Family Tree Farm near Easton. Over 40 members and guests attended. It was a informative meeting including Vic  demonstrating his pre-commercial thinning shear/buncher processor. Even though our Chapter has only 2 meetings a year, Chapter members are heavily involved volunteering on local and state committees. Click here to see our 2019 activity highlights.