NNRG Newsletter | December 2020 

SO LONG, 2020


Wow! It’s the final month of 2020. I can’t count how many times I’ve heard someone express they can’t wait for this year to be over. I’ve never been one to wish for the hastening of time, as it seems the older I get the quicker it passes, but this has been one helluva year and I admit I’m looking forward to the new beginnings that 2021 promises. 

All the same, there are several things I have to be thankful for in 2020, and one of them is the opportunity to continue working with the very creative, resilient, and passionate folks who comprise the staff of NNRG. Buoyed by the hard work and optimism of this team, our organization was able to keep our ship afloat and make significant progress in applying the science of ecological forestry in the Pacific Northwest despite a global pandemic and faltering economy. Amongst a bevy of other projects, I’m proud to report just a few of our accomplishments:
  • Provided over 40 technical site visits with forest owners who manage over 15,000 acres of forestland.
  • Managed over 200 acres of ecologically-based commercial timber thinning for 8 different forest owners.
  • Prepared ecologically-based forest management plans for 13 forest owners who collectively own more than 6,000 acres.
  • Spread the gospel of ecological forestry to over 300 attendees of workshops, webinars, and other events.
  • Completed FSC certification for 8 new forest owners totalling more than 2,400 acres.
  • Brokered the first premium market for FSC certified pulp logs in the Northwest.
Over the past 10 years, NNRG has become a leader in ecological forestry, and this small but feisty organization is well positioned to achieve even more in 2021. To this end I would like to enlist your assistance, dear readers. If you believe in climate-adaptive forests, improving carbon sequestration, restoring complex wildlife habitat, increasing biodiversity, and supporting sustainable forest-based economies, then please consider a year-end donation to our organization, and together we will change how forests in the Pacific Northwest are managed.

Kirk Hanson
Director of Forestry
(360) 316-9317


Classes & Webinars

Managing Your Forest with Fire in Mind
December 15 | Online

Mushroom Cultivation
December 15 | Online

Pruning Series: Tree Pruning I
January 21 | Online

Forests as Habitat for Wildlife: Priority Actions for Habitat Management
January 5 | Online

Wind, Rain and Dead Tanoak: Sudden Oak Death in Oregon
January 19 | Online

Winter Plant Sales

Benton County Native Plant Sale
February 6 | Benton SWCD

Online Native Plant Sale
February 19-20 | Mason Conservation District

Snohomish County Annual Plant Sale
February 27-28 | Snohomish Conservation District

King County Native Bareroot Plant Sale
March 5-6 | King Conservation District

Thurston County Annual Plant Sale
March | Thurston Conservation District


A look back at the best stories of the year

2020 dragged by like a sofa up a flight of stairs. Wouldn't it be nice if we could just remember it by the highlights? Now you can, by browsing NNRG's most popular blog posts of the year!

Women in the Woods: Then & Now
From the first woman field officer employed by the U.S. Forest Service ― whose presence in the applicant pool tested the sensibilities of the male hiring manager ―  to the women woodland owners NNRG works with and the networks that support them, we took a look at what it's like to be a woman in the world of forestry.

Beavers, Bobcats, & Bears, Oh My!
If a bear ambles through a forest while no one’s watching, was it really there? Thanks to wildlife cams — and our current understanding of the metaphysical possibility of unperceived existence — we know that bear was really there! We asked for your best wildlife/trail camera pics, and you answered. Dozens of NNRG members and partners sent in their favorite covert photos of wildlife in their forests. Enjoy.

Out with the Fir, In With the Oak
Sarah Deumling has noticed some changes in her forest over the past 20 years. There’s a little less water to go around, and her family’s land, Zena Forest in the Willamette Valley of Oregon, is a little hotter and drier during the summer. Why? These changes are consistent with climate models’ predictions of the way Oregon climate is shifting under the influence of global warming. 

A Truffle in the Hand is Worth Eight Underground
Two Oregon family forest owners know the secrets of Pacific Northwest truffles better than most; Marilyn Richen and Tammy Jackson truffle at their family woodlands — 450 acres of woodlands in Columbia County — together with their dogs Blue and Gucci. In late fall and winter, the four regularly explore the nooks and crannies of their forest on truffle hunts.

Field Guide to Harvest Equipment
The forests of the Pacific Northwest are teeming with movement and noise — not all of it animal in origin! Stroll through an NNRG member forest undergoing an ecological harvest or thinning and you might catch a glimpse of one of these logging machines (don’t forget to wear appropriate safety-gear!). 

Introducing: Keeping up with the Hansons

NNRG Director of Forestry Kirk Hanson is just one of a whole band of Hansons who steward their three Washington forests with love, creativity, and an eye toward the future.

Kirk has accumulated so many tales, lessons, and practical tips from his family forests, we finally made a place for him to share them all.

Explore and enjoy photos, forest management plans, articles, and stewardship tips from the Hanson Family via the new webpage, Keeping Up with the Hansons. Kirk will be adding new content monthly.

We promise it will be nothing like its TV series namesake.

Check out Kirk foraging for stinging nettles here!

Show your support for ecological forestry!

The NNRG Shop is now open! Just in time for holiday gift-giving, NNRG is offering several different types of merchandise including branded hats, caps, and mugs.

Show off your NNRG pride! A portion of every sale supports our work promoting ecological forestry in the PNW.

Visit the NNRG Shop to place an order today!

For compelling holiday reading, start here

We asked NNRG staff to share book recommendations in the forestry/ecology genre (that's a genre, right?). The list includes fiction and non-fiction, classics and new bestsellers. Just in time for holiday breaks!

Director of Programs Rowan recommends: 
Eating Dirt: Deep Forests, Big Timber, and Life with the Tree-Planting Tribe by Charlotte Gill

Forester Teo recommends: 
The Final Forest by William Dietrich

Executive Director Seth recommends:
Sometimes a Great Notion by Ken Kesey

Lead Forester Jaal recommends:
The Botany of Desire:  A Plant's-Eye View of the World by Michael Pollan

Forestry Tech Spencer recommends: 
Wildwood: A Forest for the Future by Ruth Loomis and Merv Wilkinson
Underland by Robert Macfarlane
Director of Forestry Kirk recommends:
The Hidden Forest by John Luomo
The Natural History of Puget Sound Country by Art Kruckeberg

Read on for the full list of recommendations and short summaries by our staff. 

New field guide for climate adaptation

Last year, NNRG hosted three popular workshops on climate adaptation strategies for forest managers. The workshops spawned a video series, a climate adaptation guide, a forest management plan template, and now a sweetly illustrated field guide with a concise list of climate adaptation tips for forest managers and stewards. 

Check out the field guide (and download a printable copy) here!


The social life of forests
This beautiful, interactive piece by the New York Times examines how trees communicate with one another - and what they may be saying. 
Forest Service begins making biochar at wildfire recovery site
For (probably) the first time, federal land managers are making biochar as part of a wildfire cleanup project in  Mt. Hood National Forest.
Deforestation in Brazil's Amazon skyrockets to 12-year high under Bolsonaro
Reuters reports on soaring deforestation in Brazil since President Bolsonaro took office and weakened environmental enforcement.
Are wildfires contaminating your drinking water?
Volatile organic compounds can contaminate drinking water around the U.S. — and recent wildfires are making the situation worse.
Copyright © 2020 Northwest Natural Resource Group, All rights reserved.

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