Developing a Forest Stewardship Process in the Watershed: First Steps

Developing a Forest Stewardship Process in the Watershed: First Steps

Council News

Liz Redon from the North Santiam Watershed Council and US Forest Service staff from the Willamette National Forest spent the day last Friday, September 7th, with specially selected forest products industry experts to help develop a new small diameter timber and special forest products stewardship program.

The purpose of the work group was to explore the opportunities and constraints timber operators face when thinning small diameter timber from overcrowded stands whose growth has stagnated.  The US Forest Service hopes to develop future timber management contracts that meeting silvicultural management objectives to:

  • Improve forest health in stands that multiple stakeholders agree need to be addressed
  • Create jobs
  • Invest in future timber products by positioning overstocked stands to produce larger timber

Tour participants discuss the pros and cons of stewardship contracts

The work group spent the day visiting different high elevation forest stands on the Detroit District.  Throughout the day, participants struggled to find creative ways to make the management of these stagnant forest stands profitable.

Some of the ideas that were kicked around were:

  • harvesting an array of forest products
  • the kind of equipment that is needed opportunities for different industries to work together ,and the
  • bottlenecks and barriers, both market and administrative, that challenge our efforts to make forest products from these stands profitable?

Tentative Next Steps

Willamette national Forest, Detroit District Ranger, Grady  and Liz Redon from the North Santiam Watershed Council are looking into the  recommendations they received from the forest products participants.  Right now it looks as though

  • Building partnerships to develop resources and funding for network that will increase access to forest products information
  • Reducing number of contracts it takes on each stand that is to be managed, and
  • Developing some sort of training for both USFS staff and timber operators on how to write and manage various contract options

might be the next steps.  But it is still too soon after the workshop to tell. We’ll keep you posted.

Meanwhile, the US Forest Service and the North Santiam Watershed Council continue testing new strategies that integrate small diameter thinning and special forest products with new types of contracts that have not been used on the Detroit District.

What would you like to learn or explore further to move forward with developing forest product industry around overstocked, small diameter stands?  Please contact Liz Redon,from the watershed council if you are interested in participating in this pilot at 503-930-8202,

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