Plus NNRG's new Strategic Plan
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Director's Message

As warmer weather begins blanketing our region, I can’t help but wonder what this summer will bring. Last August, new records were set across the Pacific Northwest for hottest temperatures, most consecutive days above 80 degrees, and most consecutive days without rain. If I thought those conditions were brutal on my Scandinavian constitution, they were much rougher on Northwest forests. On the western side of the Cascades, I’ve observed high seedling mortality in newly established plantations and among drought-intolerant naturally regenerating conifers in the understory, such as western hemlock. On dry slopes, I’ve seen die-offs of young and mature hemlock, western red cedar and grand fir.
Northwestern wildfires were also destructive and costly last year, burning more than 1 million acres between them. In Oregon alone, $454 million was spent fighting wildfires in 2017. Washington got off easier, but still spent nearly half a billion dollars fighting wildfires from 2010 to 2016. That’s a lot of public money to respond to a series of emergencies that, through better proactive management, could have been significantly less destructive.
Practically everywhere I drive in Washington and Oregon, I see overstocked second-, third- and fourth-generation forests that are choked with excessive woody fuel – primarily small-diameter trees with dead limbs and standing and downed dead wood. As many non-industrial forests have shifted from maximum resource extraction to under-management, both ecological and economic values are at risk. The cost falls on the public, too: Wildfire experts say that for every dollar spent fighting wildfires, an additional $24 is incurred in local economic harm.
Thinning is an important tool to help address these hazards, whether land managers’ priority is conservation or long-term return on investment. Given the high cost and low financial returns from thinning young forests, public support for proactive thinning of fuel-choked forests is crucially important — and will pay off in reducing the cost of reactive wildfire suppression efforts.
P.S. If you're interested in how our changing climate is affecting Northwest forests and what can be done about it, please join us in Olympia June 19-20 for the conference we are organizing with Evergreen State College, "Forestry for resilience, carbon storage, and wood products in a changing world." 

Kirk Hanson

Forestry Director
Northwest Natural Resource Group
(360) 316-9317
Reducing ladder fuels by thinning dense stands and pruning lower limbs can minimize likelihood and the potential severity of a wildfire. Photo: Matt Freeman-Gleason

Upcoming Events

Precision Tree Felling - SAWW Chainsaw Training Levels 1 & 2
May 4-5, 2018
Leavenworth, WA

Wildfire Community Preparedness Day
May 5, 2018

Invasive Weed Control Field Practicum
May 5, 2018
Bellingham, WA

Silviculture Basics
May 9, 2018
Myrtle Point, OR

GiveBIG 2018
May 9, 2018

Restoration of a Small Private Woodland
May 12, 2018
Shady Cove, OR

Thinning, Pruning, and Fuels Reduction: Machine Mulching Demonstration
May 12, 2018
Beavercreek, OR

Hands-on Chainsaw Safety and Maintenance Workshop
May 17, 2018
White Swan, WA

Forest Stewards Guild event: Innovative Forestry Techniques Field Tour
May 19, 2018
Corvallis, OR

Protect Your Home From Wildfire
May 19, 2018
Eugene, OR

Climate Change: How should we manage our forests in the face of uncertainty?
May 23, 2018
Corvallis, OR

Invasive Weed Control Field Practicum
Saturday, June 2, 2018
Kent, WA

Tree School
Saturday, June 2, 2018
Pleasant Hill, OR

Watershed & Stream Ecology & Management
Saturday, June 9, 2018
Sisters, OR

Forestry for resilience, carbon storage, & wood products in a changing world
NNRG Event!
June 19-20, 2018
Olympia, WA

How to Manufacture Biochar from Woody Biomass
NNRG Event!
Saturday, June 30, 2018
San Juan Island, WA

Featured Member

The 46,000 acres of forestland spanning Snoqualmie Pass to Cle Elum known as the Central Cascades Forest (CCF) is now Forest Stewardship Council®-certified, through NNRG’s group certificate. It’s the Northwest’s largest jump in certified forestland since the City of Seattle's Cedar River watershed earned FSC certification in 2011. 

The CCF is managed by The Nature Conservancy, which takes a comprehensive approach to stewarding lands. Management goals for the forest include improving wildlife habitat, producing a sustained yield of wood products, increasing climate resilience, providing clean water, bolstering local communities, and reducing the risk of catastrophic wildfire.

“We are excited to recognize this important project with Forest Stewardship Council certification,” says NNRG Executive Director Seth Zuckerman. “The Conservancy and its partners in the Central Cascades Forest have shown far-sighted vision in committing to manage this forest for sustainable harvest while restoring its ecological health.” 

 “We want to ensure that everything we do in these forests is leading to better outcomes for the environment and for people,” said James Schroeder, Conservation Director for the Conservancy’s Washington chapter. “Third party certification such as this leads to healthy habitats, cleaner water, and all the things we care about.”

Older & more Fire-Resilient

A new Oregon study found that different-aged forests exposed to similar wildfire conditions respond differently - forests allowed to mature past 40 years experienced less severe impacts.

Rebirth after Fire

The Eagle Creek wildfire in the Columbia River Gorge felt devastating but nature has elegant processes and some species thrive in the post-fire landscape.

Our New Strategic Plan

Three years, five targets, and seventeen measures of success: we invite you to read our strategic plan just released this week to guide our organization for 2018-2020.

Top 5 Reasons to GiveBig

On the occasion of GiveBig next Wednesday May 9, please consider these Top Five reasons to support NNRG. Contributions from new donors will be matched up to $500!

Climate Resiliency Conference

NNRG is hosting a conference on June 19 and 20 in Olympia, WA on forestry for resilience, carbon storage, & wood products in a changing world - we hope you can join us! 

Multi-aged Stand Management

A new OSU publication features our friends at Hyla Woods and shares their experience with shelterwood harvest and active management to increase age diversity. 

Landowners Protecting Bees

Crown Bees' new Native Bee Network monitors and propagates hole-nesting native bees! You can participate by placing a Native BeeHut on your land, making simple observations, and moving the huts indoors during winter - a great way to provide habitat and boost pollinator research!

Landowners Selling Wood

Washington Woodland Coop is looking to connect Washington forest owners and workers interested in producing or marketing wood products to join their coop! They already coordinate bulk firewood sales in Skagit, Whatcom, San Juan, Island, and Snohomish counties. Check them out!

Learn more about fire management with these resources! 


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Northwest Natural Resource Group
2701 1st Avenue, Suite 240
Seattle, WA 98121

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