Latest News & Announcements

An article in the Washington State Magazine reports on results of maple syrup tapping in Whatcom and Skagit Counties, featuring WFFA member Al Craney and WSU Extension Foresters Kevin Zobrist and Patrick Shults.

Fri, 11/26/2021 - 9:02am

WSU Forestry Extension created a 13 minute video where several small forest landowners, including Past WFFA State President Patti Playfair, share their feelings about owning forest land.

Wed, 11/24/2021 - 6:13pm

At many chapter and state gatherings, raffles are held to raise money for scholarships and other activities.  Since those gatherings haven't been held recently, Northeast Washington Farm Forestry Association has organized a state-wide, donation-based raffle for a chain saw, donated by Hartill’s Saw & Tractor in Chewelah.  Tickets are $10. The saw will be delivered to the winner anywhere in the state.  View this flyer for details.

Sat, 11/13/2021 - 9:24am

If you missed the recent webinar presented by Heather Hansen, our legislative lobbyist, you can view the recording at any time.

Fri, 11/12/2021 - 1:49pm

In early November, members were asked to send messages to the Forest Practices Board prior to their November 10 meeting.  If you did so, thank you!  WFFA representatives were at that meeting to testify on your behalf.  The testimony submitted by Elaine Oneil, Ken Miller, and Steve Barnowe-Meyer can be read here.

Thu, 11/11/2021 - 1:05pm

Over two million acres of working forests managed by the State of Washington provide a sustainable and continuous supply of timber, clean water for salmon, habitat for wildlife, family-wage jobs and non-tax revenue to support public education and community services. All of these benefits are at risk if a legal attack against these working forests is successful in the Washington State Supreme Court this fall. Read more.

Sun, 10/24/2021 - 8:09am

Conservation groups want the Washington Department of Natural Resources to change how it manages state trust lands. At a State Supreme Court hearing today, an attorney for the conservation groups argued state trust lands should benefit all Washington residents but it doesn’t. The groups said the state should log fewer trees to generate revenue for public school construction. Read more.

Sun, 10/24/2021 - 8:05am

If you missed the recent webinar when it was presented live, you may want to view the recording.  DNR staff members Mary McDonald, Todd Olson, and Dan Pomerenk explained the details of FREP and answered questions that had been previously submitted and that were asked during the meeting.

Tue, 10/19/2021 - 9:22pm

A recently released decade-long study under Washington’s Adaptive Management Program looked at water quality in working forests, focusing on temperature and sediment. The conclusion was that streamside Forests & Fish buffers of trees are keeping water cool for fish.

The study (informally known as “Hardrock”) measured temperatures in non-fish bearing waters that flow downstream into fish-bearing waters – during the two years before timber harvest and for nine years after timber harvest, the part of the forest cycle when forests are replanted and start to regrow.

Read more.

Sat, 10/16/2021 - 8:55pm

The Forest Overstory is a podcast series dedicated to unraveling forest management topics that impact small forest landowners by interviewing forest land managers, researchers, and fellow private forest owners around Washington.  It is available on a variety of podcast apps.  Learn more about it and listen to the first episode here.  Dr. Paul Hessburg, landscape ecologist with the Pacific Northwest Research Station, sits down to talk about his work around the current era of megafires. Paul discusses historic burning patterns, how fire shaped our landscape and forest structure, and what forest landowners and managers should focus on when creating a fire resilient landscape.

Tue, 10/05/2021 - 6:18pm

BINGEN, Wash., Sept. 30, 2021 – A consortium of three entities – Seattle-based Twin Creeks Timber, LLC, The Conservation Fund, and Carson, Washington-based WKO, Inc. – have agreed to acquire SDS Lumber and Timber Companies.  Read full story.

Fri, 10/01/2021 - 12:55pm

A new study has found that recent bigleaf maple die-off in Washington is linked to hotter, drier summers that predispose this species to decline. These conditions essentially weaken the tree's immune system, making it easier to succumb to other stressors and diseases. Read full story.

Fri, 10/01/2021 - 12:51pm

As the Washington Board of Natural Resources (BNR) continues work on a new westside/eastside sustainable harvest calculator for timber harvests, a lawsuit set for a State Supreme Court hearing next month could reaffirm the state’s fiduciary obligations to generate revenue from trust lands. Read this article by TJ Martinelli of The Lens.

Fri, 09/10/2021 - 4:18pm

Humans aren’t the only ones that got sunburned during the heat waves this summer — so did Oregon’s trees. The evidence of the “sun scald” can be seen all over the Coastal mountain range, but the long-term effects of this extreme heat remain to be seen. Read more.

 

Wed, 09/08/2021 - 7:20pm

The next time you walk into a home improvement store to buy a 2-by-4 of Douglas fir, Centralia native Chuck Higgins and 20-year Centralia resident Nan Reber Higgins hope you’ll wonder, “Did Chuck and Nan grow this one?”

Their work toward educating wood users, practicing sustainable forestry and being active members of their tree farming community — and the community at large — earned the Higgins couple the distinction of 2021 Washington Tree Farmers of the year by the Washington Farm Forestry Association. Read full article

Sat, 08/21/2021 - 7:23am

Melissa Fischer, Eastern Washington Forest Health Entomologist, discusses how droughts like we are having can have various negative effects on our coniferous trees, such as leaf scorch, loss of foliage, reduction in growth, and dead branches. Sometimes trees die as a result of drought. This mortality could simply be due to lack of water, but sometimes mortality is more indirect, as drought-stricken trees are more likely to succumb to insects and pathogens. Read full article.

Wed, 08/18/2021 - 4:55pm

An article by Matt Provencher in the latest issue of the Small Forest Landowner News discusses the extreme heat that was experienced in western Washington in late June and how the trees were impacted by it.  Read full article.

Wed, 08/18/2021 - 4:36pm

Dan Falk, a geophysicist, breaks down the elements of wildfires. "As I write this at the end of July, 79 wildfires are burning across 12 states in the U.S. In Oregon, a mammoth fire has engulfed some 400,000 acres—an area half the size of Rhode Island—and destroyed hundreds of buildings and vehicles, including more than 160 homes. Smoke from wildfires in the western half of the continent has darkened skies over cities in the east, including Toronto, where I am. People in Boston, New York, and Washington D.C. are struggling with hazy, smoke-filled skies". more

Wed, 08/18/2021 - 10:17am

From Seattle Times, July 30, 2021. Forests run deep in the Evergreen State’s identity and culture. Washington’s more than 2 million acres of state forests provide clean air and water, salmon spawning grounds, outdoor recreation access and habitat for the rich natural heritage that supports our quality of life. Read more

Mon, 08/02/2021 - 3:01pm

Chuck and Nan Higgins, WFFA and Lewis County Farm Forestry Association members were named Washington State Tree Farmers of the Year for 2021 in a virtual presentation. An in-person presentation of their award, followed by a tour of their Salzer Ridge parcel, will be held on August 17, starting at 5:45 pm.  See the Events page for more details.  If you missed the video that was shown at the virtual presentation, it can be viewed here.

Chuck has been active in the Lewis County Farm Forestry Association since the 1970s, serving a chapter president in 1984-85, and serving on the board for too many years to count, up to the present.  In 2010 they were presented with an award recognizing their excellent Forest Management by the Lewis County Farm Forestry Association, and named chapter Tree Farmer of the Year in 2011.  They have hosted tours on each of their parcels. .

At a time of life when most people are selling their land or passing it to their heirs, Chuck and Nan are still actively purchasing property that needs a lot of work to bring it up to the quality that they want.

Sun, 08/01/2021 - 7:11pm

John Nohr, the fire chief for parts of Clark and Cowlitz counties in Washington state, was driving down Interstate 5 when another firefighter asked if he’d noticed the trees.

It was June 29 — one day after the hottest day in both Portland’s and Vancouver’s histories — and Nohr turned to see the needles on every fir tree had turned brown on the side facing the sun, seemingly overnight. On Interstate 205, he saw the same. Read more

Fri, 07/23/2021 - 8:35pm

A lawsuit against the state by numerous trust land beneficiaries filed last year argues that the sustainable harvest strategy adopted by the Board of Natural Resources (BNR) fails to meet its fiduciary duties. However, that case and a separate but related legal fight have also underscored how logging continues to fund critical local services such as education, fire districts, and road infrastructure. Read more

Fri, 07/23/2021 - 4:34pm

Well that was some hot spell!  Even out near the coast it was 100 degrees most of Saturday June 26, 110 degrees all afternoon on Sunday and still 90 after dark.  Fellow tree farmers Greg and Sue Pattillo both noticed a sweet pitchy smell on Sunday which turned out to be the new growth on both their reprod and large trees cooking.  It appears that much of their new growth is fried brown and needle fall, especially on the hemlock and cedar, is already happening so that it looks like much of the area has been sprayed with herbicide.  Further inland in SW Washington Bryon and Donna Loucks are seeing damage on last year's needles more than the new growth.  Serious burning occurred on some noble firs, but most were okay.  Last year's needles are brown on some Douglas-fir, especially on trees exposed to direct sun, and they fall off with a touch, so soon they may be looking pretty sparse.  Even Valley ponderosa pine and western red cedar are showing dead needles.

So how about you?  Did your trees suffer heat damage?  If so, we’d love to collect some stories and pictures about these impacts for future reference and to track whether or not this event had significant ramifications for our future.

Mon, 07/05/2021 - 8:29pm

A recent article by Don Brunell in the Chinook Observer highlights the importance of family tree farms and features a photo of Pacific County members Greg and Sue Pattillo.

Mon, 07/05/2021 - 3:39pm

When Earl and Laurine Ingebright found an ad in a local paper for a property near Arlington in 1958, they knew it would be a place for family fun, relaxation, and a quite a lot of work. What they could not have anticipated was the sheer diversity of endeavors, parties, and fun that the family would pursue on the property over the coming generations. A recent article in Forest Stewardship Notes showcases the many activities and ingenious inventions that Dave and Jan Ingebright, the second generation owners, have done on the tree farm.

Mon, 07/05/2021 - 3:34pm

After two former Lands Commissioners proposed ending all timber harvests in Western Washington, the Washington Policy Center contacted Pat McElroy, a former State Forester of Washington. Few have his understanding of Washington's state forests and the laws that govern them. He wrote an article about proper forest stewardship and some of the problems of the proposal to ban harvests.

Wed, 06/16/2021 - 8:39pm

Washington Farm Forestry Association (WFFA) efforts last biennium (2019-21) helped to obtain legislative funding for a study at the University of Washington (UW) on the impacts of the forests and fish regulations on SFLOs including updating the statewide landowner database. The report Washington's Small Forest Landowners in 2020 (more than 400 pages, plus online charts and tables) is a treasure trove of information that is waiting to be mined. Now, it is freely available for downloading.

A summary, titled Analyzing State Regulatory Impacts on Small Forestland Owners, is also available online, with additional links to spreadsheets of the data and maps that were used in the report.

In May 2021, three presentations were made about the report to WFFA by researchers involved in preparing it. Technical problems prevented the recording of two presentations, but the first one was recorded and the presentation slides of all 3 spreakers are available.

For a brief summary of the key points, read the recent article by Tami Miketa, manager of the Small Forest Landowner Office, in their DNR newsletter.  (Click here to subscribe to the SFLO [Small Forest Landowner] News directly).  Also available online is the longer DNR summary, Small Forest Landowner Demographic Report.

Mon, 05/03/2021 - 5:59pm

When you visit your forest in the spring, you may see young trees (from planting to PCT age) that appear to be dying. Quite often it involves yellow or chlorotic-looking foliage, sparse foliage, and branch or needle dieback. Though a variety of conditions could cause these symptoms, a foliar disease is often the issue in the spring and early summer. This article by DNR forester Matt Provencher describes some of the most common ones.

This article was published in the Washington DNR's SFLO News. You can subscribe here to receive each new newsletter directly.

Wed, 04/21/2021 - 1:48pm

From Oregon through western Canada, western redcedar (Thuja plicata) has been dying in areas where it should be thriving, such as along streams and within closed canopies.  If you have noticed dieback in your forest, researchers want to know about it!  Read this article for details.

 

This article was published in the Washington DNR's SFLO News. You can subscribe here to receive each new newsletter directly.

Wed, 04/21/2021 - 1:38pm

Two former Washington State Lands Commissioners, Jennifer Belcher and Peter Goldmark, are pushing an extreme proposal to shut down all timber harvests in Western Washington forests that are managed in trust by the state of Washington. They argue that halting harvests would help fight climate change.

That claim, however, is contradicted by science from the U.S. Forest Service, the University of Washington, and even the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the U.N.’s climate agency. These scientists all note that sustainable forestry – harvesting timber and then re-planting trees – is much more effective at reducing atmospheric CO2 than letting trees grow, stagnate, die and then decay.

Read the full story from the Washington Policy Center's blog.

Fri, 03/26/2021 - 9:06pm

If you missed the webinar that was presented by Dick Hopkins on March 3, you can view the recorded version at your leisure.  In addition to discussing the field trials that he was involved with for 20 years, Dick also addressed other ways to establish a new plantation in an area known to have Phellinus root rot.

Thu, 03/04/2021 - 5:33pm

David New, co-owner of the Nourse Tree Farm near Bellingham and 2019 National Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year, shared his experience using game cameras on his tree farm in a webinar presented on February 16.  If you were unable to attend the live presentation, you can now watch it online.

Fri, 02/19/2021 - 5:35pm

For 7 years, the mayor of Darrington has worked alongside county and state officials and the nonprofit Forterra to develop the Darrington Wood Innovation Center, to produce innovative wood products could stabilize Darrington’s drained timber economy.  Read more.

Wed, 01/27/2021 - 5:51pm

The 2021 Washington Legislature's session will be completely online.  While meeting remotely presents difficulties for both lawmakers and the people they represent, it does not mean you can't be involved.  In fact, it may be even easier because you can watch hearings and testify from home. WFFA members received an email message with numerous links to information and access to the Legislature.  In case you missed it, here's a link to that message

Sun, 01/17/2021 - 10:49am

Bill would make transformative investments in wildfire response, forest restoration and community resilience

On Tuesday, Jan. 12, Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz and Rep. Larry Springer (D-Kirkland) joined experts and advocacy leaders from across the state to unveil House Bill 1168 to create a dedicated funding source for wildfire response, forest restoration and community resilience strategies.

The legislation – developed by a wide-ranging coalition of firefighters, fire chiefs, tribes, environmentalists, public health advocates, and forest products companies – would create a first-of-its-kind dedicated funding account for wildfire response, forest restoration, and community resilience.

Commissioner Franz is asking the Legislature to create this account and fund it with $125 million each biennium.

Wed, 01/13/2021 - 8:52pm

Kyle Garrison of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife gave a webinar last week titled "An overview of silviculture's effect on elk habitat: Relationships among elk habitat, productivity and disease."  If you missed the live presentation, now you can view the recorded version.  In addition to addressing the effect of forest management on elk, Kyle also discussed elk hoof rot disease that is very common in southwest Washington and in some other parts of the state.

Tue, 01/12/2021 - 4:45pm

After more than 20 years since the state legislature passed the Forests and Fish Law regulating timber harvests near fish habitats, small forestland owners are still fighting to get the assistance and relief promised in that law. Now, some are cautiously hopeful that a new report from the University of Washington that’s due to be released this month will highlight the effect the regulations have had so far on the overall amount of working forestland in the state.

Sat, 01/09/2021 - 8:51pm

Mechanical harvesting with a large excavator, called a shovel, is the most common harvest method used today, but small landowners rarely have a chance to watch the complete process unless it is on their own property.  Bryon and Donna Loucks, owners of the B&D Tree Farm in Lewis County (with the assistance of Pat Swanson as vidographer) documented a recent operation on their property and prepared this video to share with others.

Thu, 12/24/2020 - 8:22pm

A deep dive into data from the Department of Natural Resources reveals some scary trends and surprising findings. 

Wed, 12/02/2020 - 8:42pm

Enjoy this educational video which highlights some of the challenges faced at Rafter Seven Ranch in Chewelah, Washington. These bugs and crud include Armillaria Spp., Meria laricis (Larch Needle Cast), Sphaeropsis sapinea (Diplodia Tip Blight) and the invasive species Arceuthobium Spp. (Dwarft Mistletoe). Rafter Seven Ranch is owned and operated by Bob Playfair and his daughter, Patti Playfair, of our WFFA Northeast Chapter.

This video is a coordinated production featuring Patti Playfair (WFFA Past President), Randy Burke (WFFA Spokane Chapter President and WSU Landowner Assistance Forester) and Melissa Fischer, PhD (DNR Forest Entomologist); with videography and editing by Sean Alexander (WSU NE Extension Forester) and music by Ken Bevis.

Tue, 12/01/2020 - 7:22am

The plan outlines more than 100 priority actions to improve and conserve forests across Washington, including goals that support fish and wildlife, rural economies, wildfire response, outdoor recreation, family forestry, urban trees, and clean air and water.  Also unveiled in the 2020 Forest Action Plan is a western Washington prioritization map showing 16 priority areas with the greatest opportunities for forest investments. These priority landscapes, spanning nearly 2 million acres, are where state and federal resources will be deployed first to increase forest resilience.  Forests in central and eastern Washington have their own high-priority areas identified through the 20-Year Forest Health Strategic Plan, which DNR released in 2017.

Read the Washington 2020 Forest Action Plan at www.dnr.wa.gov/ForestActionPlan.

Sat, 10/31/2020 - 8:52pm

Ken and Bonnie Miller are a fixture of sorts in the small forest owner community of Washington.  They’ve been active in the Washington Farm Forestry Association for years, have hosted multiple WSU Extension events, and Ken is an active advocate for small forest owners in state natural resource policy.  This passion for private forestry started back in 1989 when they bought their first tree farm, a 30-acre recently clear-cut parcel in Grays Harbor County that they re-planted and managed with the help of their children.

A few years later in 1993 they bought another clear-cut parcel in Thurston County wedged between Millersylvania State Park, Scott Lake, a golf course, and a growing residential neighborhood.  This one was 40 acres and came with a house, so they moved in and got to work replanting there too and have been managing both properties ever since. 

Years later, in 2017, an opportunity came up to buy the long-abandoned “back nine” of the adjacent golf course.  With plenty of planting and stand management experience under his belt, Ken didn’t hesitate.  It provided a second access driveway for their house but also a familiar challenge, starting a forest.

An article published in the October 2020 issue of Forest Stewardship Notes tells the full story.

Wed, 10/07/2020 - 9:36pm

Megafires, wildfires over 100,000 acres, are currently burning our western landscape. How did we get here and what can be done about it? Dr. Paul Hessburg, research landscape ecologist for the US Forest Service, has spent the last 40 years learning about how we got here and what can be done about it. Watch the Era of Megafires film.

Wed, 09/30/2020 - 3:02pm

A few weeks ago, all traffic was stopped on the Golden Gate Bridge at the Nourse Tree Farm in north Snohomish County, so that Ken Bevis could sit on the guardrail and sing a song he wrote titled "True Bear". Ken is DNR’s stewardship wildlife biologist and a talented songwriter and artist. Enjoy this music video "True Bear" from Ken.

Credits: Recorded live on the Golden Gate Bridge at Nourse Tree Farm in north Snohomish County, WA; Music, lyrics and performance by Ken Bevis; Video recording by Brendan White and Dave New; Bear video clips and photos from wildlife cameras at Nourse Tree Farm; Video editing by Dave New

Wed, 09/30/2020 - 10:10am

If you missed the WSU-sponsored webinar Fire in Western Washington - A Different Kind of Animal when it was presented earlier this summer, this might be a good time to watch it!

Wed, 09/16/2020 - 9:08pm

WFFA conducted our Annual Business Meeting elections via online and mail-in ballots. We successfully approved our Bylaws revision and welcome the following members to terms of service for 2020-21: 

Dick Alescio - President (Olympic Chapter)
Court Stanley - 1st Vice President (Lewis Chapter)
Ann Stinson - 2nd Vice President (Lewis Chapter)
Paula Hopkins - Secretary (Pierce Chapter)
Bill Scheer, Jr. - Treasurer (Lewis Chapter)

Thank you to all our WFFA members who took the time to offer your input on the future of WFFA by casting your vote.

Sun, 08/16/2020 - 7:57am

Washington state is the home of the Nourse Tree Farm, belonging to the New Family, who are the 2019 National Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year. David New provided us with a webinar on June 16 and now we have it posted to our YouTube site. 
Please click on this link to view David's webinar featuring photos, videos and story-telling to present the history of the farm, woodland management, the four ATFP precepts of Wood, Wildlife, Water, and Recreation, as well as succession planning, and salmon stream restoration. Thank you again, David!

Thu, 08/13/2020 - 8:20am

WSU Extension Forestry offered a series of webinars during the summer. If you missed them, they can be found under Videos at this web site, or under the appropriate Educational link. See the WSU Extension Forestry web page for details of future offerings.

Thu, 08/13/2020 - 8:09am

The 2020 Steven D. Stinson Leadership in Natural Resources Scholarships were awarded to Alannah Cross, Erik Kemp and Justin Stanley. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our awardees were not able to accept their awards at our 2020 Annual Meeting. Our Scholarship Committee contacted each awardee with the news of their scholarship. Please click here to view the scholarship award page for Alannah, Erik and Justin.

Wed, 08/12/2020 - 8:30am