Next Meeting: July 16, Picnic and Twilight Tour of Elmore-Vance Tree Farm

WHEN: July 16,Tour at 5:00, picnic at 6:30 p.m.

WHERE: 869 Cispus Road, Randle

Driving Directions:

  1. From I-5 Exit #68, go east for 50 miles on Hwy 12 to Randle.
  2. In Randle turn right at the Mt Adams Cafe, cross the Cowlitz River and head south on the Cispus Road. There’s a big green sign that says Mt. St. Helens 131 South.
  3. Stay left at the Y. Continue across the valley then up (and up and up) for 6 miles.
  4. Go left at FS RD #55. The sign also says Lone Tree Mountain.
  5. Go 300 feet to the driveway on the right, drive through the gate and follow the driveway to the cabin in the pasture.

There is NO cell service at the site, but if you start your phone GPS before Morton, it will bring you to the site.  It takes about 1 hour, 15 minutes from Chehalis.  There won’t be a formal carpool, but we encourage you to contact another member to share a ride.

Details on the Potluck:  LCFFA will provide pulled pork & buns, beverages, and tableware.  Please bring a vegetable, salad, or dessert to share.  We have some chairs, but if it is convenient to bring a lawn chair for yourself, please do so.

You are welcome to come to both the potluck and the tour, or only one part of the event.  This is a great social opportunity to invite an interested friend or neighbor who might be a potential member of WFFA!

See newsletter for more details


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.


September 2018 Twilight Tour at Northwest Hardwoods

Jeremy Martin hosted us at the Centralia mill.  We looked at logs rolled out for scaling, then toured the mill.  Jeremy brought out several valuable points about marketing alder: 1) Landowners may be losing money by sending sawlog quality alder for pulp. 2) Alder trees often have sweep that the logger may be inclined to cut out, sending shorter logs to the mill.  It often is better to send longer logs and let the scaler deduct for defect. 3) Processor operators who are accustomed to processing Douglas-fir need to reduce the gripping pressure of their equipment when processing alder.  The external damage of the teeth on the log can be cut away, but on alder, often the damage goes deeper and may not be visible until the wood is kiln dried or even stained.


August 2018 Twilight Tour of Weyerhaeuser Ryderwood Alder Plantation

In case you missed the tour, or didn't get the handouts, here is the material that Andrew Bluhm shared about the results of the alder spacing and thinning trials that have been going on throughout western Washington for the last 28 years. Handout.


July 2018 Picnic and Tour of O'Neill Pine Company's Zandecki Parcel

Attendees viewed 3 different stand treatments: 1) FSC approved clearcut; 2) thinning with root rot cut out; and 3) normal thinning. They also learned about the Jackson Prairie Gas Storage Facility which lies underneath the property, and saw a demonstration of a drone.  A portion of the drone flight can be viewed here.


At the Washington Tree Farm Program's 33rd Annual Awards Luncheon, held during the Washington Farm Forestry Association Annual Meeting on May 21, 2018. 2018 Lewis County Tree Farmer of the Year Michelle Blake Morgan competed with 2 other nominees for the title of Washington State Tree Farmer of the Year.  Another tree farmer received the state award, but as part of the competition, a video of Michelle and her tree farm was prepared and is available for viewing here.


In case you missed the April meeting, Connie Harrington's presentation Where Should I Plant Alder? is available online. In 28 minutes, Connie explained how soil characteristics, drainage, elevation and microclimate (frost) are important criteria in determining where alder will grow well, and directed us to tools that can be used to find that information for your property.


At the LCFFA Annual Meeting on February 20, Richard and Debra Pine, O'Neill Pine Company, were recognized as Lewis County Tree Farmers of the Year for 2018.  Their presentation included a 7-minute drone overview of their properties which can be viewed on YouTube.

Officers and Board Members were elected for 2018-2019.  Devon Powell was elected President, Dave Roberts Vice-President, Luke Moerke Secretary, Norma Green Treasurer, Board Members are Ken Lentz, Rick Kuykendall, Chuck Higgins, and Russ Armitage.


At the 2017 Awards Banquet on November 14, three tree farmers were recognized for good forest stewardship.  They were:

Tom & Melissa Fagerness, Fagerness Family Tree Farm, for Intensive Management

Luke Moerke, Moerke Land & Timber, for Forest Management

James & Jil Muller for Commercial Thinning.

Steve Webster, retired WSU Forestry Extension Agent, past LCFFA secretary, president, and board member for life, was given the Distinguished Service Award postumously.  He passed away in June 2017. The presentation that was given at the banquet can be viewed online.


Summary of our October 17, 2017 meeting

With a series of photos taken over 18 years, Bruce Alber of Wilbur-Ellis Company showed how trees that are free from grass and forb competition for the first couple years after planting, stay ahead for the long term.  He talked about the two times for spraying (site preparation before planting and release after planting) and the chemicals that can be used on different species of plants.  One thing that is especially important for the small landowner doing backpack spraying is the calibration of the equipment so that the herbicide is applied at the correct rate.  He provided a handout with a no-math method of calibration, and another handout with details on types of spraying and chemical to use for different species of plants.  These handouts are available below:

Calibration HandoutSpraying Handout.              


Micheal Hurley, the 2016 Lewis County Tree Farmer of the Year, competed with 2 other nominees for the 2017 Washington State Tree Farmer of the Year.  Another nominee was named winner, but a video of Micheal Hurley's tree farm was made and can be viewed here.


Bill Logan, the 2015 Lewis County Tree Farmer of the Year, was nominated for 2016 Washington State Tree Farmer of the Year.  That title was given to another nominee, but a video of his tree farm was prepared and can be viewed here.


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

Educational meetings are held in the Lewis County Courthouse basement conference room in January, March, April, May, and October at 7 p.m.

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

Two dinner meetings are held at other locations: the Awards Banquet in November and the Annual Meeting in February.

For further information contact the President at [email protected]


Gloria the grouse always finds Sam on his tree farm
Gloria the grouse always finds Sam on his tree farm
Chapter Officers
President Devon Powell  
Vice-President Dave Roberts  
Secretary Luke Moerke  
Treasurer Norma Green  
East Board Member Rick Kuykendall  
West Board Member Chuck Higgins  
North Board Member Ken Lentz  
South Board Member Russ Armitage