2018 Chapter Activities & Accomplishments

2018 was a very busy year for the Whatcom County Chapter and the Board of Directors wanted to update you on those activities and accomplishments.  Click here to see the many opportunities that were available to members throughout the year to increase your knowledge and stewardship of your tree farm. 


  • Saturday, February 23, 2019 - Winter SchoolGreen River College in Auburn.  Classroom counterpart to summer field days.  Attend multiple workshops and exhibits.  Workshops will include:  chainsaw safety & maintenance, certification programs, climate change, noxious weeds, fire risk reducation, forest health, legal issues, soils, tax reduction programs, wildlife habitat and more.  Registration received by Feb. 14 - $35/Ind, $45/family or by 5 pm Feb. 21 - $45/Ind., $55/family and get lunch.  At the gate, bring your own lunch - $45/Ind., $55/family (check or cash).  Register or get more information by clicking here
  • Saturday, March 9 - Trees are Dying - Learn why and what to do.  Camano Island.  Learn how to recognize problems and what you can do to increase tree resilience and mitigate impacts.  Free.  Click here for further details. 
  • Saturday, March 16, 2019 - WCFFA Annual Tree Sale @ Lynden Fairgrounds (no minimum purchase required)Members watch for email to signup and volunteer.  Trees $1 each for public, 85 cents for members who work Tree Sale.  Click here for more details or here for tree characteristics. 
  • Wednesdays Mar 27 - May 22 - Coached Planning:  A Forestry Class for Property Owners.  1 pm to 4 pm.  WSU Extension is hosting this program which will include a field trip on May 4.  Learn if your trees are healthy, about wildlife, fire risks, invasive/noxious weeds and much more.  Class often sells out, so sign up early.  Cost $145 before Mar., $175 after - covers individual or couple from same household/ownership.  For more information, click here
  • Friday, April 12, 2019 - WCFFA Annual Meeting @ Northwood Hall starting at 6:00 p.m.  Guest speak will be Jennifer Coe with the Whatcom Conservation District.  She will talk about Exploring the Whatcom Conservaton District including its history, programs and upcoming opportunities for forest landowners. 
  • May 2 - 4, 2019 - WFFA Annual Meeting - Silverdale.  20th anniversary of Forests & Fish - Past, Present & Future.  May 2 - Informal Gathering.  May 3 - numerous speakers and annual meeting.  May 4 - field tour to Kingsbury family's Five Spring Tree Farm, winners of 2017 Washington State Tree Farmers of the Year, recently named Western Regional winner and candidates for National Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year.  Register by clicking here

Membership Information

Interested in membership in the Washington Farm Forestry Association?  Membership with the State Association is required to be a member of the Whatcom County Chapter.  Please click on the "Join" tab above for information about becoming a member. 

Website Content

Do you have an event to add to our website or suggestions of potential events we could sponsor as a Chapter?  Please send an email to: [email protected]

Mt. Baker FFA places 4th in Nation

After winning the state competition, Mt. Baker FFA went to Indianapolis and took 4th place in the Nation in the FFA National Convention Forestry Career Development Event.  One of Todd Rightmire's student's placed 6th.  FFA is dedicated to preparing members for leadership and careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture.  The Forestry Event is a competitive event that tests student's skills and knowledge in the area of forest management. 

Todd passes on many thanks to WCFFA for the support provided to allow them to travel to Nationals.  Way to go Mt. Baker FFA!

Nesset Farm & Bakke Tree Farm Tours

Twenty people attended the combined tours of the Nesset Farm and Bakke Tree Farm under cloudy, but rainless skies. 

Russ Pfeiffer-Hoyt provided much of the information about the restoration of the Nesset Farm, with about 106 acres, which is destined to be a County park.  The barn, which was used for hay storage and milking cows was rebuilt and looks tremendous.  Many of the other buildings have been elevated off the ground to reduce rotting of the wood structures.  In order to preserve the timberland, under a conservation easement, trees cut on the property can only be used on the Farm.  The original house was made from old-growth cedar from the Farm. 

The Bakke Tree Farm had its humble beginnings in 1877 when a farm was claimed with homestead status.  It is currently 83 acres.  The Bakke family provided a covered area by the Nooksack for lunch and then we explored part of their Tree Farm seeing some evidence of the elk eating newly planted cedar trees.  One somewhat successful solution was discussed which is to plant cedar and spruce in the same hole and eventually cut the spruce out when the cedar is big enough.  Or if the cedar is eaten, you can allow the spruce to continue to grow.  As we walked across the meadow to our cars, we saw additional evidence of the elk in grass circles where they rest in the meadow in the evening. 

Many thanks to the wonderful stories and warm welcome provided throughout the day by Ray Bakke, Gordon Bakke, John LaMonte and Russ Pfeiffer-Hoyt.  The memories that were shared provided the tour attendees with a more up close and personal tour including ski jumps, divine intervention with a potential flood and a little pastime that will remain a secret among those who attended.

Cone Picking Event

Picking Western Red Cedar cones to replenish our supply of seeds was a fun outing on September 8.  These seeds will be used to custom grow Cedar seedlings for our Annual Tree Sale.  Members met at the home of Sharon and Ed Westergreen to strip the Cedar cones from branches gathered the previous day. 

Seed pickers included:  Sharon and Ed Westergreen, Jan and Dick Vollmer, Helen Arntson and Paul Campbell, Lisa Tiemersma, Janet Gilda, Phil Cloward, Dan Koehler, Carol and Don Assink, Lars Holien, Gerry Kudsk and Bonnie and Tom Westergreen.    Their efforts on behalf of our Chapter are much appreciated.  The four bushels of tiny, ripe cones harvested will provide approximately 225,000 Western Red Cedar seedlings to reforest over 600 acres!

Mt. Baker FFA Wins State Title

One purpose of the WCFFA is “to promote opportunities for youth education in forestry and land stewardship.”  The FFA group at Mt. Baker High School placed first this year in the State Forestry Career Development Event, which is the 10th state title for Mt. Baker HS.  They had to compete individually in the areas of Tree Disorders and Disease, Timber Stand Improvement, Tree Identification, Equipment Identification, Chainsaw Troubleshooting, Compass Course, Map Interpretation, Issues Interview and General Knowledge Exam.  Additionally, they competed as a team in an issue regarding Forest Fragmentation and had to give steps on how to prevent it along with a team cruising activity.  As the state winner, they will be attending the National FFA Convention this fall in Indianapolis, Indiana. 

In support of our purpose of promoting youth education, the Association donated $3,000 to the Mt. Baker FFA to help pay for their trip to the National Convention.  We know they will represent their high school and Whatcom County well.  GOOD LUCK!

2018 Washington State Tree Farmer of the Year

Congrats to our fellow member David New and the New family for their tree farm the Nourse Tree Farm being awarded this year's tree farmer of the year by WFFA. It is quite the honor and we couldn't be more proud!

2018 Tree Sale

This year's tree sale was a big success!  We sold out completely before noon.  There were over 70 volunteers including the wonderfully helpful boy scouts.  Thanks to all who participated!

One big change was the handing off of the reins from our Tree Sale Chairperson for so many years, Sara Brown, to our new Tree Sale Chairperson, Lisa Tiemersma.  Thanks to Sara for coordinating the tree sale for over 20 years!  Also, thanks to Lisa for stepping up to take over for Sara.

60 years – 2018 5th Grade Conservation Tour @ Weyerhaeuser Seed Orchard

5-step Recipe for a successful 5th Grade Conservation Tour:

  1. Take 401 students from 18 classes spread over 4 school districts (9 schools total, 1 private school and home school),
  2. Mix for 20 minutes at 8 stations with presenters from Black Mountain Forestry, Dept. of Natural Resources, Forest Service/National Park, Sierra Pacific, WSU Extension, Weyerhaeuser, Whatcom Conservation District and Whatcom County Farm Forestry Association (WCFFA),
  3. Spice with 1 fire truck, 2 outhouses, 1 creek and 401 seedlings (1 per student),
  4. Garnish with No Trace philosophy (which means no trash cans were available - kids hauled out their trash),
  5. Spread over 4 days, and
  6. Top with lots of volunteers.  Thanks to all who volunteer or provide support at this icon of learning for Whatcom County 5th graders about the value of our native trees, water, soil, and forest protection, products, regeneration, recreation and management.

Special thanks to Mt. Baker FFA for bagging seedlings and to the following WCFFA volunteers –

  • Dick and Jan Vollmer for providing WCFFA coordinating efforts, greeting buses & offloading students,
  • Sharon Westergreen presenting for our Association – Introduction to Forest Native Trees,
  • Herb Barker parking buses and cars and loading boxes of seedlings for students,
  • Tom Westergreen procuring seedlings,
  • Phil Cloward hanging signs along the road to guide the busses and cars,
  • Dan Koehler blowing the horn every twenty minutes for four days,
  • Doug and Marilee Smith loaning their horn,
  • Conrad and Jeanne Koehn donating the topsoil to bag the roots of the seedlings,
  • Joan and Gerry Kudsk painting the horn sign.
  • Alpine Meadows Christmas Trees for storing trees in cooler between Tree Sale & 5th Grade Tour. 


2017 Summer Tree Farm Tours

Dick and Jan Vollmer and Ken Stremler provided tours of their tree farms. Here is a link to a summary about the day.

2017 5th Grade Conservation Tour at the Seed Orchard

Every year multiple groups come together to provide 2 hours of education and entertainment for our local 5th graders over a 4-day period.  The Seed Orchard Tour is held at the Weyerhaeuser Seed Orchard on the Y Rd in Bellingham and was attended by 653 students.

Special thanks goes to Sierra Pacific for providing some funds for transportation when schools can't find budget for the field trip.

2017 National Outstanding Inspector of the Year

Congratulations to our very own Tom Westergreen for receiving the ATFS National Outstanding Inspector of the Year for 2017.  We couldn't be more proud and know that you are very deserving of this award.  Great Job Tom!

2017 Annual Tree Sale

This year's tree sale was a big success with over 60 volunteers including members, extended family and Troup 23 Boy Scouts.  We had to substitute plugs for bare roots on the Western Red Cedar as the freezing weather damaged the seedlings.  We only had 61 Shore Pine and 85 Japanese Larch left over.  Most trees sold out by 11:35.


David New named a 2016 Conservation Leader

David New was named a 2016 Conservation Leader by the Snohomish Conservation District. 

Forest Landowner Legal Issues
Leslie Clark, attorney with Phillips Burgess, presented a seminar on Forest Landowner Legal Issues in Burlington in October 2016.  She made her handouts available to us.  She covered trespass law, adverse possession, easements, recreational immunity, and a number of other timely topics. 

Wefer Tree Farm Tour

Even though it was a very drippy day we had 28 attendees for this tour of a tree farm right next to I-5 above Lake Samish.

As part of the tour, the Wefer family provided documents they have used to help govern and organize their Tree Farm as the 3rd and 4th generation has taken over for 2nd generation family members.  Copies of policies are available on Internal Controls and  Partner Tree Cutting.  Additionally, they create a Management Plan with a "To Do" list every year to document activities and provide breadcrumbs for themselves in future years and for future generations who will oversee the Tree Farm.     

Chapter Governing Documents

Governing documents for the Whatcom County Farm Forestry Association consist of the Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws.  If you would like to review either document, please click on the blue underlined words below. 


Contact the Chapter President for more information: [email protected]
Annual Tree Sale Set-up
Annual Tree Sale Set-up

Chapter Officers

President Don Assink  
Vice President Herb Barker  
Secretary Liz Wiegand  
Treasurer Sara Brown  
Board Member Lisa Tiemersma and Wendy Wefer-Clinton  
Board Member Phil Cloward  
Board Member Don Ruhl  
Board Member Dan Koehler  
Board Member Dick and Jan Vollmer  
Board Member Sharon Westergreen  
Past President Pat Mitchell  
Membership Tom Westergreen  
Tree Sale Lisa Tiemersma