BFRDP Projects

Empowering New Forest Owners in the Northwest
[Final Report]

Award Amount: $167,942
Grant Program: 2014 Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program Awards
Project Director: Kirk Hanson
Organization: Northwest Natural Resource Group


  • Overview
  • Results
  • Materials
  • Delivery Area
  • Comments

Project Overview

The long-term goal of Empowering New Forest Owners in the Northwest is to promote forest stewardship and market strategies that improve the health of forest ecosystems while increasing economic prosperity for new forest owners. Forest ownership is changing in Oregon and Washington as companies and larger ownerships divest their timber holdings closest to metropolitan regions; thereby fragmenting large tracts into smaller ownerships. Often these former industrial timber plantations consist of single species, even-aged stands, with dense stocking intended for short rotations (25-40 years).

Many new forest owners are not aware that these heavily altered forests need active management to improve ecosystem functions and reduce vulnerability to pests, diseases, and wildfire. New owners indicate purchasing forestland for privacy, aesthetics, wildlife, and as an investment. Ecologically-based forest management involves practices that align with new forest owners’ objectives, such as uneven-aged, multi-species silviculture, that increases biodiversity, and optimizes timber production for niche markets.

Northwest Natural Resource Group (NNRG) along with our partners, West Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District, Build Local Alliance, University of Washington, state agencies, extension educators, natural resource professionals, and other non-profits developed educational materials, hosted workshops paired with forest tours, provided one-on-one site visits, coaching and management planning, and timber harvest assistance targeted to beginning producers.

We engaged >540 workshop participants, provided 144 site visits across 5,000 acres, developed stewardship and marketing plans for 36 producers owning 1,770 acres, assisted 39 producers in conducting conservation practices including invasives species control and young stand thinning, helped 4 producers prepare to complete harvests, and assisted 6 producers in completing commercial thinning harvests that contributed >$220,000 to the regional economy.

The ultimate outcome of this project is a growing network of forest owners who are empowered to actively steward their land for optimized forest products, resilience, ecosystem services, and other values.

Number of Participants: 540


Promotional Materials

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Educational Materials

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Reports & Evaluations

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Delivery Area

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Individual Stories / Examples of Success