Tree farmers in Grays Harbor and Thurston counties win Washington Tree Farmer of the Year

shelbyNEWS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – May 2, 2013
Contact: Cindy Mitchell, 360‐791‐9372

Tree farmers in Grays Harbor and Thurston counties win Washington Tree Farmer of the Year

OLYMPIA – Ken and Bonnie Miller, who have owned a tree farm in Grays Harbor and Thurston counties for two decades, have won the 2013 Washington Tree Farmer of the Year award.

The couple won the award April 26 at the Washington Farm Forestry Association (WFFA) annual meeting in Tacoma.

The award is administered by the Washington Tree Farm Program, a group of small forest landowners, and is based on the farmer’s stewardship, management plan, timber health, innovation and community involvement.

“We congratulate Ken and Bonnie – this is an honor well deserved.” said Mark Doumit, Executive Director of the Washington Forest Protection Association, a co‐sponsor of the Washington Tree Farm Program. “The Millers have dedicated a lot of time to represent tree farm owners in forest policy and public education, in addition to being wonderful hosts for many tree farm events on their property.”

The Miller Tree Farm covers two parcels: 40 acres next to Millersylvania State Park, south of Olympia, and 42 acres just east of Oakville, Grays Harbor. The Millers live on the parcel near Olympia.

The couple host demonstrations and social events on the farm and have also been instrumental in reviving the South Sound chapter of the WFFA from next to nothing into one of the most active chapters in the state. Their goal with the farm is to not just generate retirement income but maintain wildlife habitat and give back through outreach efforts to the forestry industry, from which Ken Miller is retired.

Ken Miller has spent countless hours in Olympia representing the WFFA and family forest owners before the state Forest Practices Board. He is also a member of the state Department of Natural Resources’ Small Forest Landowner Advisory Committee, on which he has been active for 10 years.

“Those of us sustainably managing forestland are the original environmentalists,” Ken Miller said. “We long for the day when the public and our agencies more fully appreciate that using more wood products is the real pathway to the economic viability that is critical to keeping more forestland forested, which in turn provides more of the environmental benefits we all want.”

In addition to the Millers, family‐owned tree farms on Camano Island, the Kitsap Peninsula and near Chehalis were among the four nominees for the Tree Farmer of the Year award.

The Washington Tree Farm Program is co‐sponsored by the WFFA and the Washington Forest Protection Association. The nominations for Tree Farmer of the Year are made by local WFFA chapters and volunteer inspectors, and the winner is selected by the Washington Tree Farm Program.

About the Washington Tree Farm Program

The Washington Tree Farm Program is run by and for small forest landowners and includes volunteer inspectors and a governing committee of farmers and foresters. The program is co‐sponsored by the Washington Farm Forestry Association and the Washington Forest Protection Association. For more information, go to www.watreefarm.org.

About the Washington Forest Protection Association

The Washington Forest Protection Association (WFPA) represents private forest landowners growing and harvesting trees on about 4 million acres in Washington State. Members of the 100‐year‐old association are large and small companies, individuals and families who practice sustainable forestry in Washington’s private forests. For more information, go to www.wfpa.org.

About the Washington Farm Forestry Association

The Washington Farm Forestry Association (WFFA) represents a diverse membership of family forest owners, with a mission of empowering citizen ownership and stewardship of private forest land. WFFA members manage their forests, ranging from a few acres to a thousand acres, for timber, other forest products, recreation, aesthetics or wildlife. For more information, go to www.wafarmforestry.com.

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