April 2019

Director's Message

For the past 20 years I’ve been slowly developing a variety of agroforestry systems on my homestead land near Oakville, WA. So far I’ve converted about 2.5 acres of former hayfield to bamboo and basketry willow plantations, an eastern hardwood zone, and a wildlife/livestock hedgerow. Over the next couple of years I am planning to convert another 1.5 acres to a mixed wildlife forage and wild food agroforestry zone. No native habitat is being converted, of course.

The idea here is to find and use exceptional varieties of native shrubs and trees that provide food – fruits, berries, flowers, leaves, roots, etc. If nothing else, the plantation will provide very good early successional habitat for wildlife. However, with care, it may also provide a nice supply of wild foods for my family.

Agroforestry stands on Hanson Forest. Each tract is a unique agroforestry zone: bamboo, baskets willow, eastern hardwoods, wildlife hedge, native edible/medicinal.
The realm of non-timber forest products merges pleasantly with the discipline of agroforestry. How do we intentionally cultivate, or farm the forest for non-timber products? I’m starting from scratch by establishing new agroforestry zones, but how can we can manipulate forest ecosystems to improve productivity of specific shrubs, ground covers, mushrooms, etc.? I’m starting to tinker with some ideas, but I’d like to hear yours…

Kirk Hanson

Director of Forestry
(360) 316-9317

P.S. Several resources on non-timber forest products can be found at the bottom of this newsletter.

Upcoming Events

Financial Help for Forest Owners
Online | April 10

Forest Health Seminar
Vashon Island | April 22

Forest Biomass & the Bioeconomy
Vancouver | April 25

Spring Edible Plant Walk
Duvall | April 27

Forest Health Seminar
Woodinville | May 7

Women in the Woods 2019 Kick-off
Snoqualmie Valley | May 11
See NNRG's Upcoming Events page for more forestry-related events near you.

Updates from NNRG

NNRG Members are Harvesting more than Timber from their Forests

Many forest owners enjoy the pleasures and profits that Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) bring. Broadly speaking, NTFPs are forest products or services aside from commercially harvested timber that have personal or potential commercial value. 

Two members of NNRG's FSC® Group Certificate are capitalizing on some of the NTFPs in their forests. We hope their experiences inspire some curiosity in other landowners about the NTFPs in their forests. 

Read on to learn about bigleaf maple tapping in Chuljian Family Forest and firewood harvesting at Cedar Row Farm.

Forest Recipes for the Adventurous

Take it from Kirk, who's been spotted munching on nettles in the spring — our forests are bursting with delicious plants!

We've compiled a list of interesting recipes that draw from the bounty found in Pacific Northwest forests — both wild and urban lands. Now is the time to forage for edible spring shoots, leaves, and blooms. Start harvesting and preparing foods now, and by the end of summer you'll be able to throw a foraged food feast.

Read on for more creative recipes that use edible plants from your forest.


Nitrogen-fixing trees “eat” rocks, play pivotal role in forest health. Can a tree really "eat" rocks? Researchers from OSU and the U.S. Geological Survey determined red alder definitely can; in fact, it improves forest health in the process!
Voluntary Agreements Protect Fishers, Forest Owners. How forest landowners can help conserve the fisher, our native weasel. "Enrolling non-federal lands in the Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances program for the fisher is an important contribution towards fisher recovery in Washington."
The Case of the Vanishing Ferns: Citizen sleuths can’t figure out what’s killing Seattle’s sword ferns. In the Seattle area, native sword ferns are suffering...but we're not sure why. "The search for answers has been driven largely by a small but passionate group of nature-lovers turned citizen scientists."
Joy and Gratitude: Greenway Designated the Northwest’s First National Heritage Area. The Mountains to Sound Greenway is the nation’s newest National Heritage Area (NHA). The Greenway includes many forests certified through NNRG's FSC group certificate!
The Undesirable Beauty of Lesser Celandine. "Each spring we welcome the return of abundant flowers and cherish them as they lift our spirits. Unfortunately, some of these beautiful plants have proven to be aggressive and, ultimately, highly unwanted."
Take part in NNRG and OSU's new study! We are recruiting Oregon and Washington forest owners who have harvested timber from their forest in the last 5 years, particularly those who did a commercial thinning, to take part in a study. Learn more and participate.
Clark Asks: Drought affects conifers. Clark County trees may be sick, infested with harmful insects, but it’s often a secondary issue: drought may be the culprit we need to pay the most attention to.
WA is already burning and that could mean another smoky summer. "When 51 wildfires broke out in one week in March, scientists and firefighters alike began preparing for a busy summer fire season."

Resources on NTFPs

Our Northwest forests are home to an abundance of fruits, floral greens, mushrooms, nuts, seeds, and other natural materials. Many people gather these gifts of the forest for personal use and enjoyment. Below are some resources to help forest owners cultivate NTFPs in their own woodlands.

Edible & Culinary


Floral greens



Many more resources on non-timber forest products can be found on NNRG's NTFPs page
Our newsletter header image was taken by Matt Freeman-Gleason.

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