Pacific County couple wins Washington Tree Farmer of the Year


When some people think of forestry of Washington they think about large timber companies, but in fact small forest landowners are a critical and overlooked part of the industry. Nonindustrial private forest landowners make up about 19 percent of forestland in the state. The smallest of this class, the family operations, can own anywhere from one to 3,000 acres. Many of these landowners maintain their tree farms on their own time and with their own sweat equity. And without their commitment to sustainable forestry and keeping their land as working forests, sadly there would be a lot more asphalt and concrete paving over our state’s forests.

This is why it’s so important to honor some of the best tree farmers in Washington every year. Not only does their hard work help support their families, often for many decades, but they play such a key role in keeping the state green and forested.

The Washington Farm Forestry Association and the Washington Forest Protection Association hand out the Washington Tree Farmer of the Year award every year. In 2013, a couple with a tree farm in Grays Harbor and Thurston counties won the award. In 2014, it was a couple who bought their Mason County tree farm in 1969.

The winners this year are Greg and Sue Pattillo, who own a 700-acre tree farm in Pacific County, near Raymond on the Washington coast. According to the announcement of their May 1 award, “numerous commercial thinnings and final harvests have provided (the Pattillos) their income for the last 26 years and have been (American Tree Farm System)-certified for 33 years. Both have been actively involved in forestry activities for many years. Greg, a retired forester, has been active in the Society of American Foresters and as an American Tree Farm Inspector. Together they have provided leadership for the Pacific County Chapter of Washington Farm Forestry Association for many years.”

The award is based on the tree farmers’ stewardship, management plan, timber health, innovation and community involvement. The Pattillos were nominated by Tree Farm Inspector Jim Hillery of Raymond.


Go here to see a photo of the Pattillos, along with photos and a summary of the other three nominees: tree farmers from Pierce, Lewis and Spokane counties.