Lewis County Chapter

July 2024 Picnic and Twilight Tour

What:         Potluck Picnic and Tour of Coal Creek Tree Farm

Who:           Sam & Sharon Madsen and Emily & Eric Girton

When:        July 16, 2024 

NOTE TIMES: TOUR STARTS at 4 pm     POTLUCK PICNIC at 6:30         

Where:      Across the road from 486 Coal Creek Road, Chehalis

The Coal Creek Tree Farm is a 628-acre property owned by Sam & Sharon, and Eric & Emily Girton (daughter).  They have been tree farmers since 2010, but are probably better known to most of us as the supplier of STIHL chain saws and other power tools through their store, Madsen's Shop and Supply, Inc.

The Coal Creek Tree Farm is comprised of about 500 acres of 30 to 35-year-old Douglas-fir reprod about 80 acres of new plantations, and a 40-acre natural forest with mixed species that is 70 plus years old. Since acquiring the property, the Madsen's have remediated two old coal mines, built and improved over five miles of road, installed two fish-friendly creek crossings, developed an extensive trail system, and thinned hundreds of acres of their forest land.

Details on the Tour: The Madsen’s tree farm is large, so the tour will be by vehicle rather than walking.  Because of the steepness of the roads, 4WD vehicles are needed, so we’ll be riding in the back of pickups or a trailer. If you have a 4WD vehicle and can haul people inside or in the back, please say so when you arrive so your vehicle can be placed in the line-up. It will be difficult to follow the route once the parade has departed, so try to arrive on time.  If you can’t make it to the tour because of the early starting time, come for the picnic.

Details on the Potluck:  LCFFA will provide fried chicken, beverages, and tableware.  Please bring a vegetable, salad, or dessert to share.  We have seating for 50 people, but if it is convenient to bring a lawn chair for yourself, please do so.

Driving Directions: In Chehalis, from National Avenue, just south of where it splits into the one-way by Sunbirds, turn on to Coal Creek Road.  Go 1.4 miles and turn left into the tree farm entrance where you will see various signs confirming that you are at a tree farm.  A short distance up the road there is an intersection where you will take the middle road of 3 and continue to the picnic site.  It is a good gravel road, but using 4WD will help prevent washboards.  Please use 4x4 if your vehicle is equipped and drive slowly and carefully don’t.


Scholarships Awarded
Two scholarships of $1250 each have been awarded to Hunter Hinners and Nathanael Scheuber.


Hunter is studying in the forestry program at Grays Harbor College and hopes to work as a forester in the Pacific Northwest.



Nathanael will be starting his college career at the University of Washington, to work on a degree in Mechanical Engineering.

The scholarships are in honor of Dave Roberts, former LCFFA President.  When he retired from Port Blakely Company, they offered to provide $1000 per year for 5 years in his name for scholarships in natural resources or engineering.  The Lewis County Farm Forestry Association is contributing an additional $1000 so that 2 scholarships can be given.  Mark and Lorie Spogen made an additional contribution of $500 so each scholarship was raised to $1250.

Report on June Twilight Tour

Tour attendees enjoyed a pleasant walk on a lovely evening partially along an old wagon road that was established when our host Greg Booth's ancestors homesteaded in the area about 1872. Greg's grandfather Adna Booth was doing well until the Depression, when he lost nearly everything.  Life got better after World War II, and Adna helped establish the Western Washington Farm Forestry Association in the early 1950s.  We walked through a stand that Greg helped plant (as a small child) in 1958. He has selectively logged this 66 year old stand, and also has thinned an older stand of Douglas-fir that was visible across the valley which contains Douglas-fir 70 to over 140 years old.

Report on May Meeting

Philip Stielstra of PropagationNation and Terry Lamers, a small forest landowner who has planted 20,000 redwoods, spoke about why we should consider planting redwoods on our property.  A video of their presentation can be viewed here. Philip suggested visiting the PropagationNation website for additional information.  He also provided copies of several articles that may be of interest.

Why plant redwoods in the Pacific Northwest? by Russell Kramer

Do redwoods have a place in the future of Washington's forests? They're already here. Seattle Times, January 21, 2024.

Can We Save the Redwoods by Helping Them Move? New York Times Magazine October 25, 2023.

Dr. Steve Sillett and the Redwoods. YouTube video, 6 minutes

Report on April Meeting

J Vander Stoep, a board member on the Office of the Chehalis Basin and Matt Dillin, an engineer with the Lewis County Flood Zone District, gave a presentation on an Overview of the Proposed Chehalis River Flow Through Dam.  It can be viewed on the WFFA YouTube channel.

This presentation was a follow-up to Vince Panesko’s January presentation Dam Right? Dam Wrong? Unlocking the Mysteries of the Proposed Chehalis River Dam, at our January meeting.  If you missed that presentation, it can be seen on the WFFA YouTube channel

Report on March Meeting

WFFA Executive Director Elaine Oneil gave a presentation on Carbon, Climate and Our Forests. It was not recorded because there already a video of a similar presentation that she prepared for the blog "The Stump" which can be viewed here.

Report on February Meeting

2024 Lewis County Tree Farmers of the Year - Sam and Sharon Madsen, Emily and EricSam and Sharon Madsen and their daughter and son-in-law Emily and Eric were named 2024 Lewis County Tree Farmers of the Year. 

A slide show with pictures and a chronology of their Coal Creek Tree Farm was presented at the February 21 meeting. To watch the video of it, click here.

A video that Stihl has produced about Sam and his tree farm was also shown and is available for viewing here.

The Chronicle did an article on them that can be viewed here.

They will be hosting our chapter picnic and offering a tour of the property on July 16, 2024.


Report on November Awards Banquet

Ken Lentz with chain saw won at banquetAt the November Awards Banquet, 100 members enjoyed an excellent buffet dinner and an opportunity to buy tickets for the raffle, which contained many valuable items.  Awards were presented to Dennis Larson and Bob Guenther for Community Service, Russ Armitage for Forest Management, and Bryon and Donna Loucks for Distinguished Service.  Ken Lentz and Zane Powell won chain saws donated by Service Saw and Madsens. Videos of the presentations, narrated by Board Member Chuck Higgins can be viewed her for Armitage, Larson & Guenther, and Loucks.


Contact Us



President:    Rick Kuykendall

Vice-President:    Reggie Hamilton

Secretary:    Jonathan Stoffer

Treasurer:    Norma Green

East Board Member:    Jerad Spogen

West Board Member:    Chuck Higgins

North Board Member:    Ken Lentz

South Board Member:    Russ Armitage

More information

The Lewis County Farm Forestry Association meets on the 3rd Tuesday of each month, except December in Chehalis.

Educational meetings are held in January through May, and October at 7 p.m.

Twilight tours are held in June, July, August and September at 6:30 p.m.

Each November, an Awards Banquet is held at the Veterans Memorial Museum.

For further information contact the President at lewis@wafarmforestry.com


Archived Content

Report on October 2023 Meeting
Steve Knight of Stella-Jones Corporation shared information about poles that was interesting, even if you have no expectation of ever harvesting poles from your property.  If you missed the program, it can be viewed here.

Report on September 2023 Tour

The tour of Vince Panesko’s St. Urban Experiment Station took place on a much more pleasant day than when it was originally scheduled in August.  The ground is not high site, and Vince told us about the many problems he has experienced trying to establish plantations on old fields.  A variety of species were planted as a buffer along the freeway 20 years ago, and some species did better than others.  Insects have attacked and deformed the lodgepole pine.  Vince fenced an area to plant western redcedar, but it has suffered high mortality, despite watering done by Vince and family members.  It made many attendees thankful that their own land has better soil!

Report on June 2023 Tour

Over 70 people attended the tour of Merc and Nina Boyer's Kiona Tree Farm on June 20.  Read all about it at article published by The Chronicle after the tour.  The Chronicle also gave us great publicity with an article before the tour.

April 2023 Meeting

If you missed the April meeting, you can watch the recording of a very interesting presentation by Dr. Dan Omdal.  His topic was Common tree diseases in western Washington forests, but there were so many questions and discussion that he only covered the major root diseases, plus additional information on bigleaf maple dieback.  We hope to have him back in the fall to complete the presentation on stem and foliar diseases.

February 2023 Annual Meeting

Three new officers and board members were elected.  The current board consists of:

  • President: Rick Kuykendall
  • Vice President: Reggie Hamilton
  • Secretary: Jonathan Stoffer
  • Treasurer: Norma Green
  • Board Member: Ken Lentz
  • Board Member: Chuck Higgins
  • Board Member: Russ Armitage
  • Board Member: Jerad Spogen

Colton Cooley gave a presentation on the Washington Ag/Forestry Class 42's trip to Puerto Rico.  It can be viewed here.  Also, he provided a document containing comments by class members about their experience.

January 2023 Meeting

Glenn Kohler, DNR Forest Entomologist, gave an interesting presentation on Forest Insects in Western Washington.  His slides are available here.  There is no audio, but the slides has many details on them and you can view the presenter notes by clicking on the chat box icon in the upper left corner of the slide.

November Awards Banquet Presentations

At the November 15 Awards Banquet, 80 members enjoyed a dinner provided by Dan and Nancy Schmit and three awards were given to: Mike & Liz Powell for Commercial Thinning, Ken Wilson for Custom Harvesting, and Jason Imes for Forest Management. If you would like to watch the presentations that were given about these award-winning tree farms and their owners, go to www.wafarmforestry.com/VideosAbout

In Memoriam

June Hansen passed away May 11, 2022, 7 weeks before her 102nd birthday. She came to Lewis County as an extension agent for Washington State University, and worked teaching food preservation classes and organizing 4-H clubs. She met Steve Hansen in the Extension office and they married in 1956.  They spent every weekend planting trees by hand on their farm east of Onalaska. Steve was one of the founding members of Lewis County Farm Forestry Association and was active in the association until his death in 1986. Years later, June and her daughter Heather won awards for Reforestation and Lewis County Tree Farmer of the Year for those plantations.

Report on June 21, 2022, Tour of B&D Tree Farm

Bryon Loucks discussion their ongoing problems with deer browse and rubbing damage and showed some of the products they have used to prevent it, specifically Vexar on western redcedar seedlings, and netting and repellents on Douglas-fir.  In 2020, 15 acres was harvested that had root rot issues.  The decision was made to plant cedar and to fence it rather than installing Vexar tubes.  Western redcedar and Port Orford cedar were planted at a high stocking level in anticipation of getting revenue from boughs in the early years.  Attendees were able to see the 8 foot high fence, the recently planted seedlings, and the herbaceous vegetation which has come in quickly despite a site preparation spray.

Bryon then showed the recent Timber Sale of 37 acres and talked about the timber sale process, which was the first time the Loucks had used this harvest option.  Previously they have always hired a logger and done their own marketing.  Anyone interested in learning more was referred to the “Marketing and Final Harvest” chapter of Forest Management for Small Landowners, written by Bryon and available on the WFFA web site. 

Report on March 15, 2022 Meeting

If you missed the presentation by Kelly Verd and Kenna Fosnacht's What's happening in the Lewis County Conservation District, it can be viewed on YouTube.

Report on Meeting of February 15, 2022

The first indoor educational meeting of the Lewis County Farm Forestry Association in almost 2 years was held at the Veterans Memorial Museum.  Following the election of officers, members of the O'Neill family, owners of Hemphill O'Neil Company, were presented with a cedar sign and recognized as Lewis County Tree Farmers of the Year for 2022.  The presentation that was given about their property can be viewed here.

Jenny Knoth, member of the Ag/Forestry Leadership Program Class 41 gave a presentation about their international trip to Cambodia and Vietnam in early 2020.  It can be viewed here.inlock

In Memoriam

Dennis Hadaller, LCFFA member and former Lewis County Commissioner, passed away December 28, 2021. He was involved in the logging industry for his whole life and once served as president of the Washington Contract Loggers Association. Read his obituary here.

Cultural Resources protected by Spogens

LCFFA member Lorie Spogen was featured in a recent article in The Chronicle for the preservation of an old cemetery on forest land that she and her husband Mark purchased.  We think of "cultural resources" as Native American artifacts, but the graves and headstones of early pioneer settlers are also cultural sites that should be preserved.  Read the full article here.

In Memoriam

Boyd Wilson, LCFFA member, former WFFA State President, retired DNR forester, and Lewis County Tree Farmer of the Year in 2014 passed away August 9, 2021.  Read his full obituary here.  A memorial service will be held at noon, September 11, 2021, in the Burfoot Park, Olympia. Further details can be obtained from his daughter Cindy Wilson, 4541 86th Ave NE, Olympia, WA 98516. Bookwoman99@hotmail.com 360 561-0524

In Memoriam

Audrey Oxley passed away July 10, 2021.  She and her husband Derald were active members in Lewis County Farm Forestry Association for over 50 years.  Derald first served as President in 1959 and again in 1974, and served as treasurer for many more years.  They lived on their Fir Acres Tree Farm, which was recognized as Lewis County Tree Farmer of the Year in 1998.  

Report on August 2021 Tour at Chuck and Nan Higgins Tree Farm

Over 80 members and guests attended a brief presentation by Washington Tree Farm Program's Bob Obideski to Chuck and Nan Higgins in front of the large Washington State Tree Farmer of the Year sign that had been delivered to them earlier.  Then Chuck led a tour of the property and described many of the difficulties he has had establishing a vigorous forest in areas that were poorly stocked and overgrown.

Report on July 2021 Tour and Picnic at the Cowlitz Ridge Tree Farm

The 75 attendees were divided into 3 groups who took different routes around the Cowlitz Ridge parcel.  Ann Stinson and Lou Jean Clark led walking tours, while Doug Stinson narrated the group that rode in trailers.  Following the tour, participants enjoyed getting together for the first time in many months around a potluck dinner.

November 2019 Awards Banquet

On November 19, 100 members and guests attended the annual Awards Banquet where Bruce and Mary McDonald were given an award for Plantation Management and Tribecca LLC (Derrick Taylor and family) were given an award for Forest Management.

Numerous raffle prizes acquired from local businesses were distributed.  Dale Agnew won a pole saw donated by RSG and Uriah Kennedy won a chain saw donated by Service Saw.  We appreciate the donations from all of the companies and individuals that allow us to support chapter activities without any other fund-raising activities.

May 2019 Meeting

Mike Warjone of Port Blakely hosted a tour for over sixty members of Port Blakely’s 28 acre, 9 year old western red cedar plantation in Winston Creek in East Lewis County. The plantation was fenced for the first six years to prevent animal browse. Mike explained the reasoning and justification for constructing the fence as well as offering what he has learned and what he would do differently on the next fence project. There were lots of questions and answers and some good conversations pertaining to cedar planting.

April 2019 Meeting

Eric Cohen of Port Blakely talked about fertilizing Douglas-fir.  His presentation slides give much more detail, but the essential points were:

1)  It isn't worth fertilizing all soils, only glacial soils that aren't really high site;

2) The best growth increase you can hope for is 10-15%.;

3) Just do one treatment about 10 years before harvest.

March 2019 meeting

Kent Jones of Resource Contractors LLC told us about the kinds of red alder trees that he purchases to be sliced.  They must have a 13 inches minimum diameter at the small end and be very clear of knots.  If you have trees that meet this criteria, he is paying a very good price.  The biggest problem is that most small land owners harvest in the summer, and he does not buy alder when the weather gets hot because of its rapid deterioration. He also buys Douglas-fir and western red cedar poles for Oeser Company in Bellingham.  If you would like to listen to his presentation, you can do so here.

February 2019 Annual Meeting and Dinner

On February 19, members enjoyed a fried chicken dinner at the Oakview Grange and re-elected Ricky Kuykendall and Chuck Higgins to Board positions.  The 2019 Lewis County Tree Farmer of the Year Award was presented to the Elmore Vance Tree Farm.

Micheal Sprouffske of Class 39 of the Washington Agriculture and Forestry Leadership Program spoke on their international trip to Greece & Italy.

November 2018 Awards Banquet

At our annual awards banquet, 3 family forest owners were recognized for their good forest practices through multiple generations.  Those recognized were: Shirley Heitzmann, Elmer and Nancy Laulainen for Forest Stewardship; Bill and Mike Merriman for Forest Management, and Chris and Melanie Clowe for Commercial Thinning. Each received a large cedar sign that they can proudly display.

Attendees had the opportunity to purchase raffle tickets for items donated by local businesses and members, including 2 chain saws.  Richard Pine was the winner of the chain saw donated by RSG, and John Henrikson won the chain saw donated by Service Saw.

October 2018 Meeting: Who will buy my oversized logs?

Rich Nelson of Millwood Timber, Inc. described an interesting market for the oversized, ugly logs that no one else wants.  His company puts them into containers in Tumwater and ships them to China, where they are transported by truck considerable distances to the interior of the country to be made into coffins.  Chinese people who live in cities must be cremated, but those who live on their land in the country can still be buried in family plots on their own land.  They like to have single boards for each section of the coffin, so they like our oversized logs.  Defect isn’t critical because they can putty over it and paint the coffin.

If you missed the presentation and would like to hear it and see some of his photos, you can view it here.