Nick Somero, owner of M&H Tree Farm, was a nominee for Washington State Tree Farmer of the Year for 2021. His tree farm owes its origins to Nick’s parents who purchased the property in 1940. Over the years, Nick purchased additional acreage that grew the property to its current 50 acres, and it has been certified as a tree farm for 41 years. This video, prepared by the Washington Tree Farm Program, tells Nick's story.
Nick carries out nearly all of the management activities, and in the past five years he’s overseen two timber harvests, road maintenance, and reforesting a riparian area that was infested with reed canary grass. In his management objectives, he also promotes wildlife habitat by leaving intact mast-producing shrubs, such as cascara, crab apple, and elderberry.
Being a retired conservation planner with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Nick is familiar with the funding opportunities available to small forest landowners and showcases how these programs are beneficial on his tree farm. He is enrolled in the Washington State Department of Natural Resources’ Forest Riparian Easement Program and has a detailed long-term Forest Practices Application that includes alternate plans. Norah Young, the tree farm inspector who nominated Nick wrote in her recommendation, that “Nick is clearly knowledgeable about all the options out there for [small forest landowners] and takes advantage of the ones that work for him.”
Nick is also active in the forestry community, having served as the Washington Farm Forestry Association (WFFA) Pacific County president and has spent seven years assisting with Project Learning Tree. And his work hasn’t gone unrecognized. Nick has received the Washington Conservation Commission award for Outstanding Dedication to Local Conservation and a NRCS Individual Partnership Award.