Kingsbury family named 2017 Tree Farmer of the Year

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Washington State Tree Farm Program Awards Tree Farmer of the Year to the Kingsbury Family’s 5 Springs Tree Farm

This year marks 50th anniversary of the Kingsbury family’s 5 Springs Tree Farm being certified by the American Tree Farm System to deliver the multiple objectives of promoting wildlife habitat, providing recreational opportunities, and generating revenue through timber harvests. In recognition of their stewardship, the Washington Tree Farm Program (WTFP) recognized the Kingsbury family as their 2017 Tree Farmer of the Year.

“The Kingsbury family is the ideal family to represent Washington State as the Tree Farmer of the Year with their active management and family involvement while protecting resources and being engaged with their neighbors,” said Ryan Sandstrom, Coordinator of the WTFP’s Tree Farmer of the Year nomination committee.

The 100-acre 5 Springs Tree Farm is located near Olalla, just outside of Gig Harbor. John Kingsbury, a former Washington State Department of Natural Resources forester, founded the tree farm, and his four children continue to build upon his legacy in managing the tree farm. The majority of their forestland is a mixed-species forest of Douglas fir, western red cedar, and red alder, and they also grow u-cut Christmas trees. In addition to the family enjoying the tree farm for its scenic beauty, local neighbors are frequently welcomed onto their property to hike or birdwatch.

For Daniel Kingsbury, receiving the award just reinforced their holistic management approach. “As a small family forest landowner, we don’t tree farm to win an award,” he said. “We do it because we are trying to do the right thing, and it just so happens when you’re noticed and awarded for doing the right thing, it’s kind of humbling.”

The Kingsbury family received the award at the annual Washington Farm Forestry Association meeting on May 5, 2017. Accepting the award were John and two sons Daniel and Doug. In 1993, the Kingsbury family was also recognized as Tree Farmers of the Year by the their local Washington Farm Forestry Association chapter.

“Recognizing the work of small forest landowners is crucial because these landowners own and protect the greatest percentage of forestland in our State,” said Tammie Perreault, Chair of the Washington Tree Farm Program. “By sustainably managing their forestland, they help protect everything that Washingtonians care about—fish, water quality, and wildlife.”

The Washington Tree Farm Program administers the certification of over 400,000 acres of forestland under The American Tree Farm System® (ATFS), a program of the American Forest Foundation. ATFS is the largest and oldest sustainable woodland system in the United States, internationally recognized, meeting strict third-party certification standards. As part of the certification process, each state participating in the ATFS recognizes one of its members as Tree Farmer of the Year. A national winner will be selected by the American Forest Foundation at its annual leadership conference in spring 2018.

For more information, contact Tammie Perreault at chair@watreefarm.org or 360-515-1340.