Writing and photo by Dr. Dave Shaw, Oregon State University
Ryan Haugo, a Nature Conservancy senior forest ecologist, hosted our graduate field forest-health class in the Manastash-Taneum Resilient Landscapes Project area in September. It was an epic visit that completely blew our minds.
Beginning with a stunning view of the Washington Cascades, Ryan introduced us to the Tapash Sustainable Forest Collaborative, which is implementing a scientifically based ecosystem-management plan for a complex terrain with mixed owners and ownership history. The landscape is rugged, showing recent fire impacts and is comprised of mixed conifer forests, which vary depending on elevation, aspect and soils.
The effort to use active management, such as forest thinning, planting and prescribed fire, to advance ecological integrity and biodiversity, is a classic example of forest-health management.
This is the application of knowledge gained by a group of interacting scientists and managers, led by the U.S. Forest Service's Pacific Research Station, The Nature Conservancy and University of Washington scientists. It can be considered a test of current theories on how best to manage Eastside Cascades forests for the benefit of everyone.
Summer 2019 kicked off on an upbeat note for Washington hikers: our favorite mountain trails were snow-free weeks sooner than in previous years. But like schoolkids let loose unexpectedly early, we are wary of a catch. And there is a catch: it’s a drought.
Our Central Cascades volunteers planted 450 trees in just under three hours. Soon they’ll be working on other projects such as trail-building and staffing tables at outdoor events int he region.
Lloyd McGee successfully maintains a network of forest collaboratives that develop pathways to forest restoration planning and implementation through empowering stakeholder partnership engagement with agency partners
As we work to diminish the threat of wildfire and smoke, a new Nature Conservancy study shows an important part of the solution may actually be more fire – of the right type.
Fire is a natural part of our Eastern Washington landscapes, and we use prescribed burns as a tool to return fire to our forests in a controlled and deliberate way.
In Western Washington, and more specifically within 30 miles of the Pacific Ocean, wind is the primary natural disturbance for our westside forests.
Our forest management operations in the Central Cascades have been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, an independent nonprofit established to promote responsible management of the world’s forests.
The federal government will now be able to use disaster relief dollars to pay for fighting catastrophic wildfires, which will fund wildfire suppression like other natural disasters.
The Conservancy is working with local and national level partners to ensure that rainforests, the wildlife and the people who depend on them can continue to thrive.
Our work on climate change involves scientists, planners and communities from La Push, Washington, to Liangshan, China.