Our Forest Management Philosophy
Our goal is to manage the tree farm as a whole forest. Our philosophy and techniques maximize productivity and the preservation and enhancement of the environment.
We manage the Tree Farm as an uneven-aged forest. We believe that a multi-aged, multi-species forest is much more productive (of timber, soil quality, wildlife habitat, etc.) than clear cuts, monocultures, etc. The diversity of the forest also makes it more resilient and resistant to forest health problems. Currently, the timber stand is composed of roughly 40 percent Douglas Fir, 35 percent White Fir (actually Grand Fir, but the mills and loggers call it White Fir), 15 percent Ponderosa Pine, and 10 percent Western Larch (tamarack). Other tree species, found in minor quantities, include Engleman Spruce, Subalpine Fir, Lodgepole Pine, Aspen, Black Cottonwood, Juniper, Mountain Ash, and Birch.
The diversity of the forest provides homes for a variety of mammals including black bears, bobcats, pine squirrels, flying squirrels, Columbian ground squirrels, cougars, coyotes, elk, mule deer, white-tailed deer, and snowshoe hares. There are also a variety of mice, voles, gophers, etc. that are not identified by species. Sixty-eight species of birds have been observed on the Tree Farm . Thirty-three of these have been observed nesting on the Tree Farm. We have encouraged woodpeckers/cavity nesters by preserving and creating snags of various sizes. We have also fenced a patch of aspen to allow smaller aspen clones to survive (deer and elk had been eating all the new clones and only a few larger aspen were present) and to provide sustained habitat for migratory songbirds.
There is somewhat more grass than when the Tree Farm was purchased, but only for the past 3 years have we allowed livestock to graze on the Tree Farm. Due to drought, our neighbor did not have enough grass for his cattle, so we have allowed his cattle to graze for 2 weeks in the fall. The timber volume is the same, but it is on fewer larger stems. Pruning has also allowed more light into the stand which in turn has resulted in more grass.
Please check out the links on this web site for more details.
Comments and questions are welcome.