A New Way, A New Forest

Written by Robin Stanton, Media Relations Manager
Photographed by Hannah Letinich, Volunteer Photographer

Some 25 foresters from a variety of agencies hiked up into the sun-filled forest of the LT Murray Wildlife Area on a May morning to practice a new way of evaluating tree stands and selecting trees for ecological restoration thinning.

The workshop, led by University of Washington research scientist Derek Churchhill who developed the method, was organized by our own senior forest ecologist Ryan Haugo.

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It brought together foresters from the U.S. Forest Service, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Washington State Parks, Department o fNatural Resources, and The Nature Conservancy to learn this new way of ecological restoration. The method, called ICO, for Individuals, Clumps and Openings, is designed with the goal of creating a mosaic pattern in the forest to make it more like historic conditions.

This all part of the preparation for a 100,000-acre restoration project in the region to be carried out by the Tapash Sustainable Forests Collaborative, of which the Conservancy is a partner.

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