Reconnecting People and Forests
Carbon, Careers, Fire, Forest Management, People, Solutions at Scale

01: Oregon Department of Forestry | The Front Lines

Episode 01: The Front Lines

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We kick off our 9-week series on wildfire jumping right into the deep end. We talk about what it’s like being on the front lines of a wildfire, what the ‘off season’ looks like, and what the challenges – and opportunities – look like being a female in a male dominated profession.

Jana is a stewardship forester and wildland firefighter with the Oregon Department of Forestry. Born and raised in a small town in Eastern Oregon, she developed a love for the outdoors at a young age. After high school, Jana went to Oregon State University where she received her bachelors of science degree in forest management with a minor in wildland fire management in 2011. While in college, Jana worked summers as a seasonal firefighter. In 2012, Jana got a limited duration job as a field forester which has since led to a permanent job as a stewardship forester. Jana says she has been blessed that her passion for forestry and firefighting that has led to a job where she’s happy to go to work every day.  

Oregon Department of Forestry

Raven Media Group

More From Jana Peterson: 

Instagram | Blog

East Face Project Reduces Wildfire Risk in Eastern Oregon

Northeast Oregon East Face of the Elkhorn Mtn. Partnership

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Reconnecting People and Forests
Fire, Forest Management, People, Wildlife

02: Quality Deer Management Association

We talk all things fire and wildlife, looking specifically at how controlled burns improve habitat for deer, are helping to prevent magafires, and are keeping our forests healthy.

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Careers, Fire, Forest Management, People

04: University of British Columbia | Ashes to Ashes

Episode 04: Ashes to Ashes

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We explore what recovery after a wildfire looks like and how reading between the lines of tree rings reveals the secrets of forest health. We also look at how forests and communities bounce back after wildfire events, with a particular focus on using forest management strategies to restore fire-resilient landscapes and build fire-adapted communities.

Lori is a Professor of Forest Ecology in the Forest and Conservation Sciences Department at UBC-Vancouver, where she directs the Tree-Ring Lab at UBC.  Her degrees are in Ecology (BSc, UManitoba), Forest Ecology (MSc, UBC) and Biogeography (PhD, UColorado-Boulder).  Her research applies tree-ring analyses to investigate disturbance regimes and the impacts of climate and humans on forest dynamics.  Lori and her research team conduct on-going investigations on fire regimes, forest dynamics, forest and community resilience to climate change in coastal and interior British Columbia, the Rocky Mountain National Parks and foothills of Alberta. To contribute to effective wildfire science and management, she also serves on BC’s Prescribed Fire Councils and is a member of the Canadian Wildfire Strategy Implementation Team. 

University of British Columbia

Tree Ring Lab

Raven Media Group

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Reconnecting People and Forests
Careers, Fire, Forest Management, People

05: Florida Forest Service | Playing with Fire

We take a look at the politics of fighting wildfire and how state agencies and other organizations are pooling resources and coordinating strategies. 

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Careers, Fire, Forest Management, People

05: Florida Forest Service | Playing with Fire

Episode 05: Playing with Fire

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We take a look at the politics of fighting wildfire and how state agencies and other organizations are pooling resources and coordinating strategies.  Jim Karels is the Florida State Forester and Director of the Florida Forest Service. A native of Minnesota and graduate of the University of Minnesota, he has more than 35 years experience in wildfire suppression and land management. In addition to serving the state of Florida, Jim represents all 50 states on the Wildland Fire Leadership Council, Wildland Fire Executive Council and the National Association of State Foresters Fire Committee, providing support for the implementation and coordination of National Fire Management Policy across the United States. 

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Graphic with quote by James (Jim) Karels Graphic with quote by James (Jim) Karels

Florida Forest Service

Raven Media Group

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Reconnecting People and Forests
Forest Management, People

06: Paul Barnum | A Commitment To The Land

Paul Barnum sits down with Executive Director, Will Novy-Hildesley to talk about forest heroes and what makes someone #forestproud.

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Careers, Fire, Forest Management, People

10: Chelan County Fire District 1 | Building Communities, Living with Fire 

Episode 10: Building Communities, Living with Fire

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Take a look at how fire-adapted communities are built. We explore the work the Chelan County Fire District is doing with communities and homeowners to assess and evaluate wildfire risks through the Community Planning Assistance for Wildfire (CPAW) program and to connect wildfire practitioners and researchers through the WiRe program.

Mike Burnett, Fire Chief, and Jon Riley, Community Wildfire Liaison, are both with Chelan County Fire District, a combination department of career and volunteer staff serving a population of roughly 45,000 and covering 72 square miles of developed urban areas, agriculture, industry, hydroelectric utilities, and mixed undeveloped lands in Wenatchee WA.

Their topography varies widely along with their fuel types, from semi-arid, shrub-steppe environment (brush and grasses) to mixed ponderosa pine forest lands. The District responds to roughly 65 brush fires each year, and regularly send staff on state mobilizations, and national incidents.   

Chelan County Fire District

WiRe Program

CPAW Program

Raven Media Group

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Reconnecting People and Forests
Forest Management, People

11: Katie Fernholz | From Farm to Forest

The beautiful greens of native basswood trees in northern Minnesota’s forests first drew Katie Fernholz into the woods from her family's organic farm, and the world of forestry.

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Forest Management, People

14: John Innes | A Global View Of Forests

Episode 14: A Global View of Forests

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Will and John Innes, Dean of the Faculty of Forestry at the University of British Columbia, explore the differences between forests in the UK and North America, the future of forests through the lens of researchers and educators, the surprising ways in which wood products show up in our day to day lives, and what sustainable forest management truly means.

A true educator, the dean walks us through some of the more nuanced terminology— like deforestation and forest degradation— and how managing for future forests presents a unique challenge due to timing of social change and the length of time to grow a tree.

" When we look at a forest I think what we have to think about is what do we expect from that forest today, and what would we expect from it in the future. We have to meet today’s needs but at the same time we have to meet tomorrow’s needs. And that’s kind of getting very close to the original definition of sustainability. "

In this episode you’ll also hear about:

  • The connection between childhood activities that get you “out there” and a sense of stewardship
  • The relationships between a culture and its forest in different parts of the world
  • Forest product certifications, and how to know when a product comes from a well managed forest
  • The range of forestry programs available at UBC and the diversity of the students internationally who register for them
  • The importance of urban forestry and access to green space
  • Placing North American forests in a global context
  • And what those outside the sector can do to be better stewards of the forest

" We need to tell people that we are the stewards of the forest, not the destroyers of the forest. That’s something that really we’ve not been very good at doing. "

Image of John InnesJohn Innes is Dean of the Faculty of Forestry at the University of British Columbia. He teaches in the field of international and sustainable forestry. He is Chair of the Commonwealth Forestry Association (since 2010), Chair of the Standing Committee of the Heads of Forestry Commonwealth Countries, Chair of the Association of University Forestry Schools of Canada, a Board Member of the International Union of Forestry Research Organizations and Chair of the Asia-Pacific Forestry Education Coordination Mechanism. He is a member of the Advisory Group on Forestry Education of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. He is an Honorary Professorial Fellow in the Melbourne School of Land and Environment at the University of Melbourne and Honorary Professor at four different Chinese universities. John also serves on the Genome BC and National Forestry Sector Steering Groups, and the Forestry and Fibre Work Group of the BC Forest Sector Bio-Economy Transformation Council.

John came to British Columbia in 1999, having previously worked as a Section Head in the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research. Since arriving in BC, he has worked on a range of issues associated with forest management. He is actively involved with climate change research, particularly its effects on forest ecosystems and the development of appropriate management strategies for adaptation, and in 2007 was part of the IPCC team that shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore.

As Dean of the UBC Faculty of Forestry, he is encouraging greater international involvement of the Faculty, and entrenching its position as a leading Faculty of Forestry in the world. Under his leadership, the Faculty has taken significant steps toward broadening the curricula and academic content to reflect changing realities in the forest and conservation sectors, also enhancing interdisciplinary and continuing education for forestry professionals and scholars from around the world.

University of British Columbia, Faculty of Forestry

Raven Media Group

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Reconnecting People and Forests
Fire, Forest Management, People

A Better Way To Think About Wildland Fires

Check out how how fire can be effectively and efficiently used to reduce fire hazard, gain ecological and other management benefits, and decrease fire risk.

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Careers, Forest Management, Innovation, People, Products

FOREST TO OCEAN | Grain Surfboards

As a society, we are becoming increasingly disconnected from our forests. With nearly 8 billion people in the world - half of which live in cities – we're not just becoming physically disconnected but disconnected from the benefits and solutions they provide us every day.

A wooden surfboard isn't going to solve this, but it serves as a powerful reminder that we always have a choice. And that natural, renewable, and sustainable solutions are always the best solutions.

Hand built using locally grown wood from sustainably managed forests in Maine, Grain Surfboards is not just creating a product for profit. They're creating a product that has a soul, tells a story, and provides a powerful connection spanning forests and ocean. They're creating a product that is not only doing right by surfers, but right by our environment, and by our forests.

Meet Mike LaVecchia and Brian Schopfer of Grain Surfboards and see why they are #forestproud.

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Reconnecting People and Forests
Careers, Fire, Forest Management, People

SMOKEJUMPER | Naomi Mills

For a look at what it takes to put it all on the line to protect our forests and keep our communities safe, hear from Naomi Mills, a smokejumper with the USDA Forest Service.

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Fire, Forest Management, People, Solutions at Scale

Living with Fire

WORKING WITH FIRE ON THE LANDSCAPE

In Trinity County, California, wildfire is ever-present . Fires blackened 220,000 acres in 2015, destroying eight homes. In the last twenty years, fires have scorched 650,000 acres, almost a third of the 2 million-acre county. Large fires erupted in 2006, 2008 and 2015. Communities have been threatened by wildfire five times in 15 years.

Faced with a pervasive threat, one would expect forest managers to try to get ahead of wildfire by thinning small trees and brush from large swaths of land to keep fires smaller and less destructive. Across much of the West, this type of landscape-scale forest restoration is the new mantra of federal land management. To be sure, thinning is a part of the Trinity County strategy. However, local leaders and federal forest managers are also taking a different tack—living with fire.

Trinity County is a remote rural community deep in the steep and dissected Trinity Mountains. The once-thriving timber community boasted seven sawmills, but the Northwest Forest Plan and automation knocked out all but one of them. Between 1994 and 1996, salary income in Trinity County dropped forty percent. Good-paying jobs dried up and the economy tanked.

A NEW PATH FORWARD

Faced with massive job losses in the mid-1990s and a shift to ecosystem management, community leaders knew that their relationship to the woods had to change. They rejected the stark choices of “log it or lock it up” to start a local non-profit, The Watershed Research and Training Center, to find a new path forward for federal forest communities.

“The Watershed Center was born to retrain displaced forest and mill workers to do ecosystem management. We recognized early on that whatever ecosystem management was going to be, we needed to find opportunities for jobs in the woods and jobs for people working with wood,” said Nick Goulette, executive director of the Watershed Research and Training Center.

Image of forester wearing orange helmet in the woods
A forest technician with the watershed center cuts brush on private land in preparation for a prescribed burn.

The path to aligning economic development with federal ecosystem management was bumpy. Lack of access to wood supply from federal forests short-circuited numerous attempts to create local businesses. The local sawmill was getting less than two percent of its wood from nearby public forests.

" We were living in a sea of trees and never had enough logs to run a business that everybody agreed we ought to have. "

Nick Goulette

BORN FROM DECADES OF INACTION

Federal forest management can be controversial and litigious; especially in the last stronghold of the northern spotted owl. Convening diverse stakeholders can be effective at reaching agreement and avoiding lawsuits. Community leaders had collaborated on local projects but were exasperated by enduring stalemates over sticky natural resource issues such as timber sales and fire salvage.

Goulette and others convinced Trinity County to set up a standing natural resource collaborative. Meanwhile, local leaders brought Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to Weaverville (pop. 3600) where he learned about community needs and interests. Shortly after Vilsack’s visit, Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell hosted a forum on forest management. “The visits from Secretary Vilsack and Chief Tidwell really gave the collaborative a unique and valuable kick in the butt,” said Goulette of the watershed center.

Image of Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack speaking at a forum.
Secretary of Agriculture addresses community roundtable in Weaverville California. Left to Right: Secretary Vilsack, Dick Morris (Board President Trinity Public Utilities District), John Letton (Board Member of Trinity County Chamber of Commerce). Photo Courtesy of USDA.

LIVING WITH FIRE: FROM GREEN TO BLACK

Fire became a touchstone that drew diverse interests—conservation, timber, recreation and local residents—to the table.

Image of tree stump on fire
Fire became a touchstone that drew diverse interests—conservation, timber, recreation and local residents—to the table.

" Fire is the primary change agent on the landscape. The collaborative group fomulated a strategy that accommodates wildfire and finds better ways to live with it. "

Nick Goulette

The strategy aims to keep communities safe in a fire-prone landscape while supporting local businesses that use small-diameter trees from treated areas. The collaborative focuses on cleaning up the mess left by last year’s fire. “We supported the Forest Service and their staff to pivot from green projects—projects that would thin and get ahead of the fire problem to black—cleaning up the fire problem from last year. And that resulted in a pretty ambitious proposal,” said Goulette of the watershed center.

A before and after of a shaded fuel break on the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Shaded fuel breaks are designed to slow the fire’s spread and give fire crews places to suppress a wildfire. Photo courtesy of the Shasta-Trinity National Forest.
A before and after of a shaded fuel break on the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Shaded fuel breaks are designed to slow the fire’s spread and give fire crews places to suppress a wildfire. Photo courtesy of the Shasta-Trinity National Forest.

The shift from green to black puts the emphasis on fire safety and transportation. When a wildfire threatens homes, residents need to get out and fire crews need to get in. Fire crews need places to safely fight the fire, referred to as anchor points. Remote rural communities often have only one way in and way out. The collaborative proposed that Forest Service officials focus on a series of roadside fuel breaks and fire salvage. The strategy was timely, avoided controversy, and most importantly, achievable.

" The vision is to work on all of the major road systems within the county, to create shaded fuel breaks anywhere possible. That totals 3,000 miles of roads and more than 30,000 acres of roadside thinning. "

Nick Goulette

If the landscape goal is about survival; the economic development goal is about hope. It aims to give residents a reason to stay—supporting local and regional businesses that create jobs. The goals reinforce each other. Markets for commercial products, such as saw logs or commercial firewood, lowers the cost of getting the work completed. “We cannot do all this work on the national forest with monies from our budget; we have to be able to sell commercial products,” said Dave Meyers, forest supervisor of the Shasta-Trinity National Forest.

BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS, BENEFITING BUSINESSES

When people spend big chunks of time on challenging topics two things can happen—they get to know and respect each other or they walk away swearing never to come back. In Trinity County, collaboration strengthened bonds and and built a foundation for new partnerships.

Case in point: Trinity River Lumber is the largest customer of the Trinity Public Utility District, representing 10 percent of their load. According to Paul Hauser, general manager of the Trinity PUD, the district has more than 500 miles of power lines in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. “It’s critical how that land is managed for the health of the utility and the local community,” said Hauser. He credits the collaborative for furthering the utility’s role in business development.

Image of a pile of firewood
Commercial firewood dries in the open air at Tule Creek Forest Products in Hayfork, CA. The forest collaborative created the conditions for Tule Creek’s success and helped it aquire start up funds.

California has the largest commercial firewood market in the U.S. When Goulette learned this he saw a business opportunity that fit the shift from green to black. A commercial firewood business could use the dead, downed and charred wood coming from roadside thinnings and fire salvage. With the help of USDA Rural Development—a federal agency charged with rural economic development—they discovered a grant program that allows public utilities to guarantee loans to local businesses. “Trinity PUD is the conduit for the loan. We guarantee the loan’s repayment and funnel low-interest federal funds to the business so they can invest in infrastructure and get off the ground,” said Hauser of the Trinity PUD.

The Trinity Public Utility District loaned $400,000 to Tule Creek Forest Products—a new commercial firewood operation in Hayfork, CA—to get them up and running. Tule Creek currently purchases a mix of federal and private timber. They buy small federal salvage sales and they buy and trade for logs with other buyers of federal salvage sales.

SUPPLY CHAIN SERVES LANDSCAPE STRATEGY

Federal forest restoration relies on a mix of appropriated dollars and product value to accomplish work on the ground. Restoration projects are expensive and many of the smaller trees and brush have limited commercial value.

" You have to design projects that pay their own way. If you do a stewardship contract, you can't get the necessary work completed without commercial value. "

Paul Hauser

Federal stewardship contracts use product value, such as sawlogs, to pay for service work, such as thinning, piling and burning of small trees that cannot be made into products. Larger trees fetch a higher price but may not align with restoration objectives and public sentiment. Where product markets exist, the cost of restoration projects goes down. Conversely, with no markets, the full cost of needed work must come from scarce federal dollars.

The supply chain for Tule Creek aligns with the shift to “the black”. Other more traditional businesses that rely on “the green” also benefit. Goulette and officials with the Shasta-Trinity National Forest hope that expanding forest thinning projects will spur new growth in the forest products industry. As evidence that the strategy is beginning to pay off, they point to long-time industry partners such as Trinity River Lumber in Weaverville and Sierra Pacific Industries in Anderson purchasing timber sales and stewardship contracts from the national forest. Equally important, they highlight new businesses such as Blue Lake Roundstock, a post-and-pole operation near Redding, that are creating demand for the low-value trees resulting from forest health projects.

BLUE LAKE ROUNDSTOCK—AN INTEGRATED SOLUTION

Economy of scale matters: Small-scale production of low-value wood is not a recipe for a sustainable business. Producing a suite of products where waste from one process becomes a low-cost input to another improves efficiency and boosts profits. It’s called industrial ecology and the traditional wood-products industry has been doing it for decades. For example, using bark and chips from processing raw logs to fuel a kiln drying lumber or veneer. Now, the concept is being applied at Blue Lake Roundstock in Anderson, CA.

Zane Peterson, log buyer for Blue Lake, is planning more than a post and pole operation at their former mill site near Redding, CA. He envisions the family business as a fully integrated biomass solution center that contributes to forest health by providing a market for low-value logs. The expansion plan calls for selling commercial firewood and biologically enhanced soil. A small-scale heat and power generator will convert wood waste from operations to power the site and the electrical equipment. The integration and co-location of different businesses aims to improve the bottom line of all partners.

The growth of businesses like Blue Lake reinforces the idea of building a solid pipeline of projects. Here’s general concept. The collaborative creates consensus on projects, Forest Service officials convert concepts to stewardship contracts and timber sales and industry purchases the wood and completes the restoration work.

LivingWithFireLumberYard

“The collaborative strategy supports local and regional businesses such as Trinity River Lumber, Tule Creek Forest Products, Blue Lake Roundstock and Sierra Pacific Industries. It increases the alignment of Trinity and Six Rivers National Forests with those businesses in the future. We are beginning to see projects come through the pipeline in the form of stewardship contracts,” said Goulette of the watershed center.

RURAL-URBAN PARTNERSHIPS

Trinity County leaders are building a system where the profit motive supports public land stewardship—indispensable in a county dominated by federal land. Equally important are the rural-urban partnerships that provide market access and expertise to explore innovation.

Jim Jungwirth knows a thing or two about rural business development. In 1996, he started Hayfork-based Jefferson State Forest Products which manufactured high-value, locally-sourced wood products. He developed a line of artisan produce bins for Whole Foods Market and grew the company to 56 employees and $6 million in gross annual revenue. He sold Jefferson State in 2007 but remains committed to finding innovative uses for under-utilized wood. The optimism of a serial entrepreneur still drives him but he’s candid about the hurdles facing rural startups.

" In rural areas, you have to create products that urban markets want. "

Jim Jungwirth

“And that’s what we did with Whole Foods. It is very difficult to start a business in a rural area that is dependent only local markets. So build partnerships with urban areas that are looking for the products that you can create,” said Jim Jungwirth, economic director program director at the watershed center.

Sudden Oak Death—a pathogen that attacks oaks—has killed thousands of tanoaks and other species in northern California and southern Oregon. The main defense against this quiet killer is cutting and burning the infested trees inside the quarantine zone. The thought of so much good wood going up in smoke piqued Jungwirth’s commercial curiosity. He dug into product options and discovered a company that made baseball bats from tanoak in the 1960s. Determined to find out if it could be done in Hayfork, he enlisted some “virtual citizens” to help—experts who understand the plight of rural communities and have the technical expertise to offer. They figured out how to dry the wood and built a beautiful prototype.

Jim Jungwirth sports a prototype of Mountain Thunder; a tanoak baseball bat which he hopes will be manufactured in Hayfork, CA.
Jim Jungwirth sports a prototype of Mountain Thunder; a tanoak baseball bat which he hopes will be manufactured in Hayfork, CA.

" Keep an eye out. The next time your favorite slugger steps up to the plate, he might be swinging a tanoak bat made in tiny Hayfork, CA. "

The efforts in Trinity County show that the old paradigm that pitted communities, timber industry and conservationists against each other no longer holds. In today’s environment of frequent fires and limited public funds, solutions are forged at the collaborative table. Living with fire means learning to work together both as a collaborative and as a community. And that is a lesson for all of us.

Words and pictures by Marcus Kauffman, Oregon Department of Forestry. Videos by Dan Bihn.

Project support provided by USDA Forest Service and the Oregon Statewide Wood Energy Team.

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restoring balance for fire solutions
Reconnecting People and Forests
Fire, Forest Management, Solutions at Scale

WILDFIRE | Fire and Our Forests

Megafires are devastating our forests and our communities. Find out what you can do to help stop them. We all have a part to play.

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12: Colin Moseley | Five Generations Of Stewardship

Episode 12: Five Generations of Stewardship

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We explore the many different ways that trees and forests are managed to produce different benefits and outcomes, the amazing range of forest products are sourced from one tree, and the extraordinary timeline over which forest owners and foresters address questions of forest health.

Image of Colin Mosely

Colin Moseley heads up Green Diamond Resource Company, a fifth-generation, family-owned forest products company managing forests in California, Washington, and Oregon. Colin is also Chairman of the Simpson Investment Company, one of the oldest investment companies in the Pacific Northwest and, coincidentally - the current Board Chair of the North American Forest Partnership. Colin is actively involved in the leadership of many different forest management and conservation organizations, and is one of the most respected voices in the forest community.

When Colin thinks about forests, he thinks about the Pacific Northwest. He grew up there - hiking, fishing, and exploring the Cascade Mountains. Colin believes that whether it’s a forest that his company manages, the woods or forest in your backyard, or any other forest, it’s important to understand and take care of the forest and the resources that come from it.

Motivated by a commitment to family, stewardship, and a desire to tell the whole story of the forest community, Colin feels deeply connected to Green Diamond and its work, as the company is now managed by the fifth generation of Colin’s family. He urges people to get out into the woods, whether that’s through public events, extension forestry courses, or learning from partners such as the Society of American ForestersProject Learning Tree, and the American Tree Farm System.

Green Diamond Resource Company

Raven Media Group

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Reconnecting People and Forests
Forest Management, People

13: TJ Struhs + Rae Tamblyn | Getting to Know #forestproud

In this episode, we explore exactly what that means for our team and our community with TJ Struhs and Rae Tamblyn.

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Fire, Forest Management, People

07: Okanogan Conservation District | Earth. Air. Water. Fire.

Episode 07: Earth. Air. Water. Fire.

We explore both the positive and negative effects of fire on our soil, air, and water. Too much fire causes environmental damage that will last for generations. Too little fire and the health of our forests suffers. What is the right balance? How much fire is too much?

Craig has served as the District Manager of the Okanogan Conservation District since December 1996. He is a graduate of Central Washington University and the Washington AgForestry Leadership Foundation Leadership Development Program.

For more than 75 years, the Okanogan Conservation District has worked with private landowners, public agencies, and NGOs to implement voluntary conservation programs. Located in North Central Washington State, the Okanogan Conservation District is more than 5,000 square miles and includes both high alpine wilderness areas that receive greater than 80 inches of precipitation each year, as well as dry shrub-steppe regions that receive less than 10 inches.

National Association of Conservation Districts

Okanogan Conservation District

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Reconnecting People and Forests
Fire, Forest Management, People

08 – National Forest Foundation | Strange Bedfellows

A closer look at partnerships as a forest management tool.

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Fire, Forest Management, People, Solutions at Scale

FORESTS IN FOCUS | Central Oregon

Roseburg, Ore. – Restoring central Oregon’s federal forests is a big important job, requiring a  diverse group of stakeholders working together to create science-guided solutions that strive for balance, landscape scale and local economic benefits. Too many small trees crowd the landscape, putting homes and property at risk from intense wildfires. But what to do about it? This six-minute video showcases how stakeholders are working to restore central Oregon’s forests and make them more fire-resilient.

“The forests in central Oregon are adapted to fire,” said Pete Caliguiri, a fire ecologist with The Nature Conservancy. “With 450,000 acres of forest in need of restoration, it is important that we learn how to scale up our efforts. Sound science should continue to guide us.”

Forest restoration is expensive and results in a lot of by-products with varying degrees of commercial value. Finding markets for less valuable by-products from restoration projects, such as small trees and brush, would lower costs and create more local jobs.

“Ideally we’d have markets for the small trees and biomass that result from these treatments,” said Nicole Strong, assistant professor at Oregon State University’s College of Forestry.

“There’s a lot of opportunity to create markets for some of these by-products like firewood, post and poles, pellets and wood chips for heat and power,” said Ed Keith, Deschutes County Forester.

“Forest restoration creates a lot of benefits: reduced fire risk to communities, improved economics and utilization of the by-products and improved forest ecology,” Stowe added. “We’ll never get the forest back to where it was before we mucked it up. But we can get it headed in the right direction, and it will be a better forest for everyone.”

The video was produced by the Oregon Department of Forestry with generous funding provided by the USDA Forest Service.

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Reconnecting People and Forests
Biomass, Carbon, Careers, Energy, Forest Management, Innovation, People, Products, Solutions at Scale

LOOK UP | The Future Of Forests Anthem

We’ve pulled together six pioneers of the forest community to have a conversation about innovation, challenges and the future of wood.

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