New Cooperative Project will Benefit Southwest Washington Landowners

DNR Stewardship Forester Julie Sackett
DNR Stewardship Forester Julie Sackett advises a small forest landowner in southwest Washington. Photo: Ken Bevis/DNR.

Washington State University (WSU) Extension will soon hire a forest stewardship educator, who will help landowners plan and execute various management activities to achieve their goals and reduce risks.

Based out of the WSU Lewis County Extension office in Chehalis, this unique position will serve throughout southwest Washington, providing organized educational opportunities landowners with the purpose of significantly increasing the amount of forest land being managed sustainably under written forest stewardship plans.

The three-year project is funded by the U.S. Forest Service Landscape-scale Restoration Grant program, awarded to the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and cooperatively implemented by DNR, WSU Extension and the Grays Harbor Conservation District. This joint project is a ‘surround-sound approach’ to landowner assistance, providing on-the-ground technical assistance as well as educational events such as field days, demonstrations, workshops, and the flagship Coached Planning – Forest Stewardship Shortcourse. Here is a list of practical examples of services you can expect:

  • Informational workshops that help you understand “What is a healthy forest and how do I know?”
  • Advice on planting trees and tending a young forest
  • Thinning trees to improve forest health, tree growth, and aesthetics
  • Pruning trees for wood quality, disease prevention, and attractiveness of the woods
  • Improving wildlife habitat and controlling animal damage
  • Advice on hiring a consulting forester or a logging contractor
  • Identifying native trees and shrubs and reducing noxious weeds
  • Writing a Forest Stewardship Management Plan

The new forest stewardship educator is expected to begin in 2018. In the meantime, if you have questions or need technical assistance, contact Andy Perleberg, andyp@wsu.edu or Julie Sackett, Julie.Sackett@dnr.wa.gov

Southwest Washington Family Forest Facts

Approximately 54,000 family forest landowners own and manage 1.1 million acres in southwest Washington, making this group the largest private land user group in the region. Family forests are typically located in lower elevation watersheds, adjacent to streams and rivers and often in the rural‐urban interface. In addition to their critical contributions to public amenities and commodities (namely timber), these forestlands are essential for clean air and water, wildlife habitat and for the economic vitality of rural communities. Annually in Washington state, the forest sector provides over 45,000 jobs, generates $16 billion in gross business revenue, and pays out $2 billion in wages and $100 million in tax receipts. Southwest Washington has been identified as the most critical region in Washington state for the production of timber resources and is a major contributor to salmon recovery.