NNRG Newsletter | February 2019
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Director's Message

Last spring, my family added another 100 acres to our portfolio of forestlands. This is a delightful new forest, with interesting topography and a multitude of stand types that will provide many opportunities for long-term timber production and conservation values. 

However, with this property we’ve also inherited at least 15 acres of young plantations that are heavily infested with Himalayan blackberry, some chest deep! Along with the invasive blackberry, we have found English holly sprouting regularly throughout the older stands, and Scotch broom along road and field margins. Although I’ve been trying to control blackberry on my homestead property for years, it presented itself in relatively tameable patches, not the sea of thorny vines that I’m confronted with on our new land. 

The thought of manually cutting back such a large area is daunting. Manual control would require several years of persistent work until the young tree seedlings stretch their leaders above the tangle and shade out the brambles. Despite more than 20 years as a forest manager, I’ve yet to mix a gallon of herbicide to fight invasive plants. Now it’s hard to deny the efficacy of that option, as both time and money are a limiting factor. 

So what’s a conservation-minded forester to do? The scientist in me is gleeful at the prospect of experimenting with all of the options, to be honest. I’m already beginning to map out three management zones within the blackberry’s ranks: in one zone I will apply an herbicide this fall and follow-up annually with additional spraying as necessary; I’ll cut back the second zone manually, and cut annually thereafter; and the third zone I will leave as-is. I will document pre-treatment conditions, then monitor my seedlings annually and track costs. 

I look forward to writing more about our adventures with this experiment in the months to come. I also welcome you to share your experiences battling invasive species on your land. What’s worked? What hasn’t? This is important information to share within the small forest owner community, so I look forward to hearing your anecdotes.

Kirk Hanson

Director of Forestry
Northwest Natural Resource Group
(360) 316-9317

Upcoming Events


EQIP Application Deadline
Washington | February 15

Western Washington Forest Owners Winter School
Auburn | February 23

Forest Health Seminar - WSU Extension
Camano Island | March 9

Ties to the Land: Succession Planning
Chehalis | March 9

SAWW Training Course
Leavenworth | March 22-23

Forest Stewardship Coached Planning
Olympia | April 1 - May 20


Trees and Taxes
Eugene | February 8

Wildfire Trends in SW Oregon
Central Point | February 19

Value of Your Forestland; kow to find it, keep it and tap into it now and again
Independence | February 19

Rural Living Day 2019
Harrisburg | March 9 

EQIP Application Deadline
Oregon | March 15

Tree School OSU Extension - Clackamas
Oregon City | March 23
Find more events on our new Upcoming Events page.

Updates from NNRG

New study: Helping landowners learn from their peers about harvest options

We are partnering with Oregon State University researchers on a study about the effect of timber harvesting methods on financial outcomes for small forest owners. Little information exists about the economics of commercial timber harvests that use thinning or uneven-aged management. Results from this research will help landowners who are considering a timber harvest learn from others’ experiences.
We are recruiting Oregon and Washington forest owners who harvested timber from their forest in the last 5 years, particularly those who did a commercial thinning. Data from this survey will remain confidential, and information will be aggregated so it cannot be traced to any individual ownership.
Information will be shared with forest owners through articles, papers, and classes taught by NNRG, OSU, and partner organizations.

Learn more & participate

2018 Accomplishments: By the Numbers

2018 was a productive year for NNRG and the forests our members steward!

We are so inspired by the landowners and managers in our community who worked to enhance habitat for threatened and endangered species, removed invasive species, planted a diverse array of native seedlings and shrubs, and pursued new markets for local wood products. 

In 2018, NNRG...
  • Hosted 7 workshops on ecologically-based forest management, fuels reduction, biochar creation, and managing timber harvests and engaged 192 participants.
  • Launched Woodfinder, an online search tool to help wood buyers find the FSC-certified products they need.
  • Completed 8 ecologically-based thinning projects across 272 acres.
  • Wrote 13 management plans for small businesses, families, land trusts and conservation groups to help steward more than 1,235 acres of forest.
  • Created a Woody Biomass Calculator and accompanying Guidebook to help forest landowners measure woody biomass in their forests. 

Read more of our 2018 accomplishments

Family Forests as Natural Capital Endowment

Kirk Hanson, NNRG's Director of Forestry, explains why his family is participating in the NNRG and OSU study.

"My family’s forestlands have grown to just over 200 acres in the past few years. Thirty of this is what I refer to as our “homestead” property, the first parcel my wife and I bought when we barely had two nickels to rub together in our mid-20’s, and on which we’ve recently completed a family cabin.

"The other 170 or so acres are comprised of two additional parcels that are part of the “Hanson Family Estate”, forestlands that my parents have invested in, and that I manage as a trust endowment for our family."

Read more from Kirk

Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way to Combat Blackberries!

Pair Family Forest, situated in the Snoqualmie Valley just west of Duvall, had a serious invasives problem when it was purchased in 2005. About a third of the land was choked with tangled pockets of Himalayan blackberry thicket. The brambles had muscled out the native shrubbery and posed a serious problem for Wayne, who had visions of transforming his forest into a mixed-age, biologically-rich ecosystem. 

Read more about how Wayne got rid of the blackberry with help from King Conservation District


The 2018 wildfire season in review

DNR's NE WA Firewise coordinator summarizes the stats from the state's recent wildlfire season. More

Climate change & needle cast

OSU study on how Swiss needle cast has intensified as conditions become warmer and drier. More

A natural Portland presence

Wood from an FSC-certified forest in NNRG's group certificate is part of the new headquarters of The Nature Conservancy in Oregon. More

Funding for WOW!

Aspiring Women Owning Woodlands leaders are eligible for funding to help them attend a WOW event to learn from the event organizer. More

Resources on Invasives

National Invasive Species Awareness week is February 25 - March 1, 2019.
Take part by getting to know common culprits in the Pacific Northwest, how to prevent their spread, and how to remove them once you've got them. 
Recognize invasives Prevent the spread of invasives
Control existing invasives
Copyright © 2018. All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Northwest Natural Resource Group
2701 1st Avenue, Suite 240
Seattle, WA 98121

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