Expect a higher-than-average wildfire season, experts predict

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The upcoming wildfire season could yield higher than typical forest fire activity in parts of Washington state. The National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) anticipates an above-average wildfire season in eastern Washington due in large part to drought. While western Washington has experienced a wetter and cooler spring, it hasn’t been the case for eastern Washington. In fact, the NIFC noted … Read More

2021 Year in Review: A managed forest is a healthy forest

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Scientific research shows that actively managed forests promote ecosystem health, contribute to air and water quality for people and wildlife, and improve habitat for the animals that make the forest their home. This past year, a great deal of policymaking and practices centered round a concept that foresters and private forest landowners have long adhered to – that a managed … Read More

2021 Tree Farmer of the Year – a love of the land and legacy of stewardship

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A Lewis County tree farm received the highest praise and recognition for its active role in sustainable forest management and outreach efforts. The Washington Tree Farm Program acknowledged Chuck and Nan Higgins, owners of the Michigan Hill Tree Farm, as the 2021 Tree Farmer of the Year. Said Chuck and Nan in an email to The Chronicle: “We feel very … Read More

Managed forests are healthy forests

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As wildfires throughout the West dominate local and national news headlines, a University of Washington analysis of western forest fires concludes that more than a century of fire exclusion has made forests more vulnerable to large-scale wildfires. The study contends the misguided notion that all forest fires were bad created “dense forests packed with excess trees and brush that ignite … Read More

Op-ed urges lawmakers to invest, support forest health and wildfire plans

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Unhealthy forests and climate change played a significant role in this year’s wildfires, but state lawmakers can help prevent the catastrophic damage and devastation from future massive wildfires, according to an opinion piece authored by leaders representing private forestland owners, the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and an environmental organization. In an op-ed penned by Washington Forest Protection Association … Read More

Drones provide foresters a new perspective

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The forestry industry has long integrated innovative approaches and new technology into its operations. After all, active forest management relies on the latest science and best practices to promote healthy, resilient forests. And just as active forest management is essential to practicing sustainable forestry, incorporating technology and new advances has helped foresters and working forests better manage their renewable resources. … Read More

View of a working forester

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Is a forest merely a collection of trees? The dictionary defines forests as a large area covered chiefly with trees and undergrowth. But at least in the case of working forests, there is much more than what a cursory glance or dictionary definition can convey. To help illustrate the complexities and thoughtful planning that is required of a working forest, … Read More

WSU Extension Forestry offers free online forest health classes

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Social distancing and stay-home orders won’t prevent the Washington State University Extension Forestry program from fulfilling its mission to educate and provide research-based information for small-forest landowners. WSU Extension Forestry has launched a series of online webinars and began offering the free classes in May. The one-hour sessions have been met with enthusiasm by both forestland owners and the general … Read More

Prescribed burns, thinning increased forest resiliency during and after Carlton Complex fire, researchers say

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Forested areas that had prescribed burns and tree thinning treatments in the Methow Valley in advance of the Carlton Complex fire experienced greater resiliency, according to a study published in Ecological Applications, the Ecological Society of America journal. A University of Washington news release reports that a joint study conducted by University of Washington and US Forest Service researchers found that … Read More

Modern-day forestry increasingly relies on technology, latest science

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(Above: Sierra Pacific Industries’ state-of-the-art mill in Shelton.) The forestry industry of today is more complex and sophisticated than ever. Twenty-first-century foresters rely on expertise from a variety of scientific disciplines including dendrology, hydrology, biology and geology to study silviculture, wildlife, soils, insects, plants, disease and tree physiology when creating their forest management plans. In addition to science, the modern-day … Read More