Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Oregon Woodland Cooperative

Date of Visit: Aug 18, 2015 
Type of event: Field trip
Organization: Oregon Woodland Cooperative
Location: Beaverton, Oregon
Hosts: Neil and Ardis Schroeder
International Fellows: Sarita Lama (Nepal), Miguel Sanchez (Bolivia), Robert Mijol (Malaysia), Stuty Maskey (Nepal), Qingxin Liu (China), Enkeleda Pjetri (Albania)
WFI Staff: Shadia Duery / International Fellowship Manager

Oregon Woodland Cooperative (OWC) is a coop of 70 family small forest owners. OWC serves its members by 1) teaching them how to be good stewards of its resources and 2) by using its aggregate power to bring non-timber products to market under a shared brand. OWC has a list of recommended foresters to advise members on forest management practices.

One of the challenges small forest owners face is to have to pay high taxes even before their farms can generate any revenue from timber sales. OWC shared brand allows co-op members to generate revenue every year from the sale non- timber products like: bundled fire wood and kindling from their thinning practices, conifers essential oils, and bow limbs for Christmas arrangements, among other products.

The Co-op's brand marketing strategy uses "story telling" as a tool to connect the final buyer with the farms were the product comes from, and sells to markets that have higher disposable income.

Co-op members participation is voluntary and when choosing to participate they have to manage their own products to market. The Co-op manager finds the markets and members that want to access those markets with their aggregate brand pay 8% commission the co-op manager.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Hopkins Demonstration Forest

Date of Visit: July 17, 2015 
Type of event: Field trip 
Organization: Hopkins Demonstration Forest
Location: Oregon City, Oregon
Hosts: Peter Matzca/ Hopkins Forest Educator
International Fellows: Sarita Lama (Nepal), Miguel Sanchez (Bolivia), Robert Mijol (Malaysia), Stuty Maskey (Nepal), Qingxin Liu (China)
WFI Staff: Shadia Duery / International Fellowship Manager, Dona Ye / Intern from China

This day we went on a tour of a demonstration forest located in the outskirts of Portland. This 140 acres of forest tries to mimic the decisions that small forest land owners have to make to have a financially sustainable operation.

We observed different management practices side to side: even age, uneven age, thinning.
We learned that:
  • Thinning can expose forests to abiotic damage.
  • Abiotic factors can be the most damaging to a forest, i.a. snow can snap tops, freeze can kill trees, and wind.
  • Stand Density Index (SDI) is the relationship of the sizes of the trees and the amount of trees per area, this relationship helps identify when is the optimal time for thinning to reduce density, and tree competition. 
  • Alder and Pine like wet places and are good for root rot replacement species.
  • Ponderosa Pine has a more fire resistant bark than other species.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

MC Ranch

Date of Visit: June 22-26, 2015 
Type of event: Field trip
Organization: MC Ranch
Location: Eastern, Oregon
Hosts: Rex Christensen/ MC Ranch Forest Farm Manager
International Fellows: Sarita Lama (Nepal), Miguel Sanchez (Bolivia), Robert Mijol (Malaysia), Stuty Maskey (Nepal), Qingxin Liu (China)
WFI Staff: Shadia Duery / International Fellowship Manager, Rick Zenn / Senior Fellow, Dona Ye / Intern from China

Every year the fellows go on a 5 day learning adventure to MC Ranch in Eastern Oregon. The main goal of the trip is to learn how to manage natural resources in a dry ecosystem. Fellows learn by observing the practices done by an actual ranch manager (Mr. Rex Christensen).


Day 1
We began our adventure by driving from the western to the eastern side of the Oregon Cascade Mountains all the way to the Blue Mountains. MC Ranch is located on the outskirts of La Grand Oregon. A beautiful wood barn right next to a river lodged us during our stay.

Driving through The Gorge we got a taste of the bountiful cherry and peach production of this year.


Little Beaver Creek Tree Farm Visit

Date of Visit: June 10, 2015 
Type of event: Field trip
Topic: Little Beaver Creek Tree Farm
Organization: Doneen Inc.
Location: Forest Grove, Oregon
Hosts: Anne and Richard Handschu
International Fellows: Sarita Lama (Nepal), Miguel Sanchez (Bolivia), Robert Mijol (Malaysia), Stuty Maskey (Nepal)
WFI Staff: Shadia Duery / International Fellowship Manager, Chandalin Bennett / Program Manager, Dona Ye / Intern from China

Anne and Richard have been tree farmers for many years and have a 280 acres of forests divided in three properties just an hour outside of Portland. They actively manage their tree farm and recently completed thinning and harvesting activities on part of their farm. They also use their farm to share with people about the lessons that they have learn while managing it. They walked us through their operations, talked about what it’s like to be a family that owns and operates a tree farm, and showed us the work they’ve done on their property thus far.

They manage their land under the following guidelines:
  • Keep multiple age stands. Currently (13% age 1-20, 36% age 21-40, 3% age 41-60, 46% age 61-80)
  • Small patch clear cuts (6-10 acres)
  • FSC certified as a group (to access markets)
  • Manage their harvest to reinvest in property improvements; like road improvement for fire protection and year round accessibility to the stands
  • Practice cable logging, land falling, and shovel logging
  • Practice weather logging (logging in the wet season) to get more money from mills when there is less wood in the market

Friday, August 14, 2015

Portland Water Bureau

Date of Visit: July 18, Aug 14 2015 
Type of event: Field trips
Organization:Portland Water Bureau
Location: Bull Run, Oregon; Columbia Slough, Oregon
Hosts: Lisa Vieno and Doug Wise / Water Bureau Resource Protection and Planning Group
International Fellows: Sarita Lama (Nepal), Miguel Sanchez (Bolivia), Robert Mijol (Malaysia), Stuty Maskey (Nepal), Qingxin Liu (China), Enkeleda Pjetri (Albania)
WFI Staff: Shadia Duery / International Fellowship Manager, Dona Ye / Intern from China

Where does Portland's drinking water come from? 
It comes from two sources: the Bull Run Watershed (BRW) as main source, and as back up a set of water wells located in the Columbia South Well Field.

In 1882 BRW, located about 20 miles from downtown Portland, was designated Portland's drinking water source. BRW and its buffer zone are closed to the public and in 2001 were put under federal protection. BRW water is filtered by the watershed. The only chemicals added to the water are Chlorine, to kill any potential bacteria, and Ammonia, to prevent Chlorine to evaporate while being transported to the faucets.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Managing Change in our Community Forests: A Toolbox for Action

Date of Visit: June 4, 2015 
Type of event: Conference
Topic: Managing Change in our Community Forests: A Toolkit for Action
Organization: Oregon Community Trees
Location: World Forestry Center, Portland, Oregon
International Fellows: Stuty Maskey (Nepal), Sarita Lama (Nepal), Miguel Sanchez (Bolivia), Robert Mijol (Malaysia)
WFI Staff: Shadia Duery / International Fellowship Manager, and Rick Zenn / Senior Fellow

Invasive pests, changing climate regimes and increased urban density will cause changes in our urban forests in the coming years. What tools and strategies can managers use today to help our community forests adapt? This one-day conference provided participants with a toolkit full of possibilities, based on the most recent research in our field.

Keynote Address–Making Arborly Love: Urban Forestry Advocacy in the 21st Century
Erica Smith Fichman,TreePhilly Program Manager, Philadelphia Parks and Recreation
  • Do your research
  • Find good partners
  • Build your brand

Soil! What it is and How it Works
James Cassidy, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon
Article about J. Cassidy
  • Mollisols are the best soil type for agriculture (US has 28%)
  • The answer is: Add organic matter!
  • Organic matter and clay have a negative charge allowing for minerals (nutrients) that have a positive charge to attach to them.  

Friday, June 5, 2015

Fire Without Borders

Date of Visit: May 29, 2015 
Type of event: Field tour
Topic: Managing Forest Fire Hazards
Organization: Oregon State University / Forestry Extension
Location: Estacada, Oregon
Host: Glen Ahrens / Oregon State University / Forestry Extension
International Fellows: Stuty Maskey (Nepal), Sarita Lama (Nepal), Miguel Sanchez (Bolivia), Robert Mijol (Malaysia)
WFI Staff: Shadia Duery / International Fellowship Manager, and Rick Zenn / Senior Fellow

This field trip focused on learning about the behavior of the 36-Pit fire as told by those who experienced it, including details on fuel conditions, topography, weather, and the suppression effort. Discuss management implications with respect to fire resistance, fire resiliency, and fire safety.

Last September an unprecedented forest fire burned on Oregon's NW side, Pit 36 Fire. Over 5,500 acres of forest on Federal and private land burned down over 9 days. Low relative humidity, high temperatures, high East winds, and steep topography created the perfect conditions for a forest fire of large magnitude to spread fast.  Usually wind conditions slow down during night hours, but in this case they did not, allowing for the fire to grow overnight. The fire was human caused by a target shooting spark.

Forest fires are monitored with satellite imaging to declared them out, and this one has not been declared out yet, waiting upon a satellite image coming in the fall.


Monday, June 1, 2015

2015 Forests and The Economy Symposium

Date of Visit: May 27, 2015 
Type of event:  Symposium
Topic: 2015 Forests and The Economy Symposium
Organizers: Investigate-West and the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication
Location: Portland, Oregon
International Fellows: Stuty Maskey (Nepal), Sarita Lama (Nepal), Miguel Sanchez (Bolivia), Robert Mijol (Malaysia)
WFI Staff: Shadia Duery / International Fellowship Manager, Eric Vine / Executive Director

The Portland symposium featured leading experts that discussed innovative ideas and policy proposals for managing Oregon's forests.


The Missing Middle: Toward a Model of Sustainable Forestry for Oregon’s Private and Public Forestlands 
Panelists:
Sustainable forestry was defined as mimicking natural processes to attain long term forest health, managed for multiple values to meet human needs without degrading the resource.

Issue: Of the 4.3 million acres of family forestland is 1.9 is inside or within 1 mile of an urban growth boundary.
Q. How to compensate private owners to avoid having to change land use?
A. Aggregate small forestland owners to compensate them as a group. Embrace a landscape view to manage the forest with a shared vision.

Hyla Woods is a 1,000 acres forest land on the Oregon Coast that manages its land under FSC principles. FSC certification is not helping to provide premium prices for their products.

Issue: Not enough mill capacity in rural areas. Forests could be managed under restoration practices, providing small diameter logs (<10") from thinning to mills. There should be tax incentives for this mills to open.

Issue: Timber prices fluctuate a lot. How do you manage for the long term? Forests can be managed in multi treatment lots allowing for a diversification of products at extraction. Markets for small woods is starting to develop (i.e. Cross Laminated Timber CLT).


Monday, May 18, 2015

OSU College of Forestry Starker Lecture

Date of Visit: May 14, 2015 
Type of event: Lecture series
Topic: Douglas-fir: The Legacy and Future of the Pacific Northwest’s Most Iconic Tree
Organization: College of Forestry/ 2015 Starker Lecture 
Location: Corvallis, Oregon
Host: Brad Withrow-Robinson & Scott Leavengood, OSU Extension
International Fellows: Stuty Maskey (Nepal), Sarita Lama (Nepal), Miguel Sanchez (Bolivia)
WFI Staff: Shadia Duery / International Fellowship Manager, and Rick Zenn / Senior Fellow

This year's Starker Lecture Series showcased one of the most iconic tree species in the Pacific Northwest: the Douglas-fir. The tour helped participants to better understand the life cycle of Douglas-fir, how the species is actively managed in a native forest plantation for timber (Starker Forest), provides a wide range of environmental services (US Forest Service Siuslaw National Forest), how is it processed in a local mill (Georgia Pacific, Philomath), how it is tested when designing new products like Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) (OSU College of Forestry Wood Science and Engineering Lab), and how it's finished lumber was used  for "green building" on the OSU campus. (Hallie Ford Center).


Monday, May 11, 2015

Oregon Department of Forestry

Date of the visit: May 8, 2015 
Type of event: Field trip
Topic Learned: About ODF and how do they manage their lands throughout the state
Organization visited: Oregon Department of Forestry,
Tillamook Forest Center
Location: Forest Grove, and Tillamook Forest, Oregon
Host: Mike Cafferata, District Forester / Wayne Auble, Assistant District Forester / Fran McReynolds, Center Director
International Fellows: Stuty Maskey (Nepal), Sarita Lama (Nepal), Miguel Sanchez (Bolivia)
WFI Staff: Shadia Duery / International Fellowship Manager

During this field trip we learned about Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF). ODF is divided in three departments: Fire Protection, Forest Regulation, and State Forest Management.
  1. The Fire Protection Department focuses on forest fire prevention and management for State Forests, private land owners, and other agencies that hire them to fight fires in their land (i.a. Bureau of Land Management, and US Forest Service). 
  2. The Forest Regulation Department provides guidance to private forest owners on how to comply with regulations when managing their land.
  3. The State Forest Department manages the state forests (4 percent of Oregon forests) by implementing a 10 year Forest Management Plan. The implementation is done in yearly operation plans to achieve the greatest permanent value of the forest, meaning to account for economic, environmental, and social benefits. Economical benefits are derived mostly from timber sales ($ 70 million/ year), from which 34 percent go to manage the State Forest Department, and 66 % to county services (i.a. schools).
We also stopped at the Tillamook Forest Center (TFC). The TFC works as ODF outreach arm, teaching the public the importance to manage the forest, including cutting it down.
At the end of the day we were so close to the Oregon Coast that we went to Cape Lookout State Park for a beach stroll to enjoy the recreational benefits that state parks provide to the community.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Blount Factory Tour


Date of the visit: May 7, 2015 
Type of event: Factory tour
Topic Learned: The process of design, development, and manufacturing of chainsaw equipment
Company visited: Blount Factory
Location: Portland, Oregon
Host:
Jay Larsen,  Global Technical Services Manager
International Fellows: Stuty Maskey (Nepal), Sarita Lama (Nepal), Miguel Sanchez (Bolivia)
WFI Staff: Shadia Duery / International Fellowship Manager, and Rick Zenn / Senior Fellow

Blount Inc is an international corporation with headquarters in the Portland area, with five production plants around the world located in Canada, Brazil, China, and two in the USA. It has two main lines of products: Forestry, Lawn, and Garden (FLAG), and Farm, Ranch, and Agriculture (FRAG). It is a very diversified and vertically integrated company that operates under ISO 9001 standards. The Portland plant employs 1,100 people with a 50/50 ratio male/female.

The plant that we visited produces almost solely chain from 1/4" to 3/4" width, about 25 miles of chain a day. The material used in the manufacturing process is steel, it can come in bricks or in rolls of different widths. The steel rolls are fed into machines that cut and bend each one of the pieces that later are assemble into a chain. The process uses a lot of energy (approx. $150k monthly electric bill) and oil to lubricate the process. Ninety percent of the oil is recycled.

 
Interesting Fact:

Chisel type chain was design in bio-mimicry of Timber Beetle Larva teeth.






Thursday, April 30, 2015

IFA Nursery


Date of the visit: April 29, 2015 
Type of event: Field trip
Topic learned: The process from seed to seedling of conifers
Company visited: IFA Nurseries  
Location: Aurora and Canby, Oregon
Host: Mike Taylor, Manager at Aurora and Canby IFA Nurseries
International Fellows: Stuty Maskey (Nepal), Sarita Lama (Nepal), Miguel Sanchez (Bolivia)
WFI Staff: Shadia Duery / International Fellowship Manager, and Rick Zenn / Senior Fellow

This field trip featured a large scale forest nursery, one of the largest on the West Coast (35 million trees per year). We visited two of their six facilities, in Aurora and Canby Oregon. The Aurora facility specializes in greenhouse container seedling production, and the one in Canby in bare root seedling production. The Canby facility also has a seed processing plant. Seeds are brought from the field in cones,  processed through the plant, until 99.9 % purity is obtained. Than the seed can be stored at 0 C for decades. Take home messages:
  • Root development is one of the most important characteristics in a seedling
  • In greenhouse seedling production humidity has to be controlled to avoid fungus
  • In a bare root seedling production well drained sandy soils are a great attribute
  • The final process before the plant is sent to its final destination is conditioning, a process were the seedlings are stressed by periods of drought