OSWA 2017 Annual Meeting

Written by Admin. Posted in General News, Local Chapter Events, Meetings, Membership News, OSWA Home Page, Statewide OSWA Events

OSWA 2017 Annual Meeting – June 15th, 16th, & 17th

Lane County has agreed to host the 2017 OSWA Annual Meeting. They were invited to host the meeting when Lane County’s Dave and Dianne Rankin were selected 2016 Oregon Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year. This continues the tradition of coordinating OSWA’s Annual Meeting with the Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year woods tour.

The Annual Meeting Committee is working on the details of the meeting, but here are the things that have already been decided.

  • Meeting Dates – Thursday, Friday, and Saturday June 15, 16, and 17.
  • Location – Three Rivers Casino, Florence, Oregon
  • Thursday – June 15th
    • Optional tour to be determined
    • OSWA Board Meeting Thursday evening
  • Friday – June 16th
    • Annual Meeting Program
    • Formal Required Annual Membership Meeting
    • Awards Banquet
    • Silent Auction
  • Saturday – June 17th
    • Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year woods tour

The meeting will be open to OSWA and non-OSWA members.

The meeting brochure and registration forms will be mailed to members and local family forest owners who are not OSWA members in April. It is not too early to be thinking about items to donate to the silent auction and to be marking your calendars and planning to attend.

This will be another great OSWA Annual Meeting.

Oregon’s DeFrees Family Selected National Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year

Written by Admin. Posted in Forestry News, General News, Local Chapter Events, Membership News, OSWA Home Page

From left to right, Jess, Nathan, & Sloan Defrees; Dean & Sharon Defrees; Lyle Defrees; Tyler Defrees with wife Max Patashnik; and Dallas & Riley Hall

From left to right, Jess, Nathan, & Sloan Defrees; Dean & Sharon Defrees; Lyle Defrees; Tyler Defrees with wife Max Patashnik; and Dallas & Riley Hall

Thirty years after a fire razed 500 acres of forestland at Defrees Ranch, Dean Defrees still remembers the harrowing ordeal with all five of his senses. “It was extremely smoky, it was hot, and you can feel the fire,” Defrees says. “My dad did suffer a burn on his arm as he was putting in a dozer line. When the fire starts to crown, which means it’s running through the treetops, it can be extremely impressive, with flames probably 150 feet in the air. It also makes a tremendous amount of noise. It kind of sounds like a train – just a big, rumbling noise.” Ever since then, the Defrees family has done all they can to minimize the risk of a devastating fire at their 2,000 acre tree farm in Sumpter Valley, about 25 miles from Baker City in the northeastern corner of Oregon.

Each year, the Defrees family removes smaller trees, brush and debris from about 30 of the farm’s 1,227 forested acres and maintains fire lines throughout their property. With financial support from the National Resources Conservation Service, a program run by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the family also installed a series of 1,400 gallon water troughs and a 2,500 gallon cistern storage tank to ensure that in this dry, wildfire prone region, water is readily available. “Those troughs also benefit the wildlife as well,” Defrees says. “The benefits are threefold: They provide water for wildlife, firefighting and livestock.”

1400 gallon water trough for fire engine tenders,  wildlife, and livestock

1400 gallon water trough for fire engine tenders,
wildlife, and livestock

The family keeps their creek and stream banks well planted to prevent erosion and preserve water quality, and they built water bars on their logging roads. The diagonal channels across the sloped roads divert surface water, which would otherwise flow down the length of the road, to the sides of the road, preventing road degradation and helping to keep silt and debris out of nearby streams.

That commitment to responsible land management earned them recognition from the American Tree Farm System (ATFS), which named the Defrees family its 2016 National Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year. The Defrees family and the ATFS’s regional outstanding tree farmers of the year were honored at a reception on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. on Dec. 6 that celebrated the ATFS’s 75th anniversary.
“We’re really honored and can’t believe that out of the 74,000 tree farmers across the nation, we won this award,” Dean Defrees says. “It’s really something. We’re still trying to digest that fact, and it’s been really exciting for the whole family.”

The Defrees family has owned their land since 1904, and Dean Defrees is the fourth generation of his family to call it home. His grandparents raised chickens, sheep and dairy cows, and in the 1970s, the family entered the timber business, harvesting some of the ponderosa pines that dominate the forestland.

Dean, 57, and his wife, Sharon, live on the farm with Dean’s father, Lyle, 83. Dean and his wife have three children: Nathan, a medical doctor in Boise, Idaho, who plans to move back to Baker City in 2017; Tyler, an attorney in Seattle; and Dallas, who lives in Baker City and is pursuing her master’s degree in grazeland ecology at Oregon State University.
Dean and his wife live in a house built by his grandparents, and Lyle lives in a house built by his brother. For Lyle, the thought of leaving the farm never had much appeal.

defrees-3“I live about a third of a mile from where I was born,” he says. “I’ve traveled quite a bit, and I’ve never found a place I like better. My heart is here.” Dean, who earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science at Oregon State, says he feels the same way.
“When I left for college, I kept my options open, but when graduation rolled around, I felt that this is where I wanted to be” he says. “My wife, who I married right after college, loved the place right after she saw it and was willing to live here with me, so that’s what we did. The land means a great deal to all of us, and I guess that’s why we spend so much time with it. It’s been in the family for so long, and we want to keep it healthy and sustainable for the next generations.”

Timber harvesting accounts for about 40 percent of the family’s business, but due to a sluggish local market for saw logs, the family has recently focused more on its core business, raising beef cattle. The farm is home to about 500 head at any given time, half of which are female cows used for breeding. The beef cattle are born on the farm and spend 14 to 16 months there grazing the meadows, grass fields and forestland before going to market.

defrees-4 But Defrees Ranch is much more than a cattle farm – it’s practically a zoo. Dean says his family has identified 42 species of mammals and 133 species of birds on their land, including white tailed deer, mule deer, elk, antelope, turkey, coyotes, bears, mountain lions, Canadian geese, Sandhill cranes, ducks and woodpeckers. The family frequently hosts hunters, and birdwatchers, and Sharon, a high school biology teacher, often brings classes on field trips to the farm to walk the trails, identify animals and trees and learn about land management.
“They discuss all aspects of habitat and forestry,” Dean says. “We’re trying to get the kids a little bit familiar with what goes on out in the woods on a working tree farm. All the kids love it here so much. It’s just a fun place to go.”

The farm has its own sawmill that the family uses to produce wooden fencing, livestock corrals, scale houses, garages and machinery sheds. “Everything that you need on a ranch that you can make out of wood, we’ve done it.” Dean says.

Students touring the Defrees Ranch

Students touring the Defrees Ranch

Back in 1968, when a fire ravaged their property for two weeks, the family wasn’t sure how much of their land would be left. Initially, the Defrees family and their friends and neighbors battled the blaze alone while the Oregon Department of Forestry and the U.S. Forest Service focused on fighting the fire on federal forestland. After several days, those two agencies were able to lend support to the family, but in the end, 500 acres were lost.

“It was pretty devastating to us,” Dean says. “It was so hot and windy that it was really difficult to control, so we put all the resources we had personally on it with our equipment and friends and neighbors. The Forest Service was tied up with other fires at the time. It was kind of a widespread forest fire summer here that year. We did everything we could. We were so busy at the time that it was hard to assess the damage as it was happening. There wasn’t a whole lot we could do, but we did save a pretty good chunk of land that didn’t burn.”
After the fire, the Defrees family got to work restoring their land, planting Douglas fir trees, ponderosa pine, western larch and white pine. Today, those trees measure about 20 feet tall.

“We planted quite a few trees, and we’ve had a lot of natural regeneration, so it’s come along pretty well,” Dean says. “But we’re not like the fast-growing forests of the South or even the coastal region of Oregon. Things grow pretty slow here because we’re in eastern Oregon. It’s dry here, and timber just grows a lot slower.”

Shortly after the fire, the Defrees family faced adversity again, as a mountain pine beetle infestation took over sections of their forest. The family harvested the affected trees and left some dead trees throughout the property to provide habitat for woodpeckers, who feed on the beetles.

“Woodpeckers will make a nest inside the tree, but the tree has to be dead and the wood soft enough for them to excavate a hole in the tree for them to nest in,” Dean says. “So, we try to leave those snag trees, or wildlife trees, placed throughout the property so that we have a good, healthy woodpecker population. One of our goals here on the tree farm is to keep the habitat diverse enough so that we can continue to support these animals.”

The Defrees family joined the ATFS in 1980 and has used it as a resource to better manage their land. The family also has mentored other landowners on the importance of forest management, has participated in state advocacy efforts and presented ATFS events.

“We use their literature a lot and try to keep to their standards,” Lyle says. “When we wrote our management plan, we tried to meet the standards of the American Forest Foundation and the America Tree Farm System. When the AFF’s evaluators were here to consider us for the award, we learned something from every one of them, and we really liked having them here so we could learn.”


OTFS Annual Meeting, Workshop & Recognition Luncheon

Written by Admin. Posted in Forestry News, General News, Local Chapter Events, Meetings, Membership News, OSWA Home Page, Statewide OSWA Events, Uncategorized

Date: November 21, 2016 Time: 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Place: World Forestry Center

Portland Sponsors:

  • Oregon Tree Farm System
  • Oregon Small Woodlands Association
  • Oregon Department of Forestry
  • Oregon Forest Resources Institute
  • OSU Forestry & Natural Resources Extension
  • USDA Forest Service
  • SFI

Celebrating Our Heritage:

Focusing on Our Future Succession Planning for Your Tree Farm

Time: 9:00 – 11:00 a.m

Place: Cheatham Hall, World Forestry Center


  • Tammy Cushing, OSU Forestry & Natural Resources Extension
  • Rick Barnes, Nickel Mountain LLC, 2014 Tree Farmer of the Year
  • Clint Bentz, CPA, 2002 National Tree Farmer of the Year
  • Dick Courter, OTFS Memorial Fund
  • Caroline Kuebler, American Forest Foundation
  • Julie Woodward, Oregon Forest Resources Institute
  • Annual Meeting, Workshop and Recognition Luncheon

Download the complete flyer here

Annual Meeting, Workshop and Recognition Luncheon

Do you have a succession plan for your tree farm? As American Tree Farm System celebrates its
75th anniversary, it’s a good time to look ahead at the next 75 years. Good succession planning is a
way of building shared vision and passion for the land among the family. A panel of presenters will
discuss succession planning and provide insight into important discussions to have with heirs and/or
charitable planned giving entities. Bring your family for the workshop; there will be time for any
questions you might have about communication and legal aspects of succession planning.

Tree Farm Recognition Luncheon Time: 11:45 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Place: Miller Hall, World Forestry Center

The workshop will be followed by a brief Oregon Tree Farm System business meeting and then a lunch honoring the County Tree Farmers of the Year. The high point of the day will be a video featuring all the County Tree Farmers of the Year and the announcement of the Oregon Tree Farmer of the Year for 2016. The workshop is free; the luncheon is $30 per person ($15 for each additional family member after 2 full registrations).

For more information, contact Anne Hanschu at 503-357-2551 or netvetrdh@gmail.com.

Download the OTFS Annual Meeting & Recognition Luncheon registration form here.
Send in, along with fees, to the address on the back.


Another Great OSWA Annual Meeting

Written by Admin. Posted in Baker Union, Benton, Clackamas, Clatsop, Columbia, Coos / Curry, Douglas, General News, Grant, Jackson / Josephine, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Marion / Polk, Meetings, Membership News, OSWA Home Page, Statewide OSWA Events, Tillamook, Uncategorized, Washington, Yamhill

Written by Jim James

Congratulations to the Baker County Chapter for another great OSWA annual meeting. On Friday, June 10th, an exceptional group of speakers discussed the resilience of Northeast Oregon, before and after fire, and a multiple list of challenges facing family forest owners and how one might address these issues, all was with an emphasis on the 75th Anniversary of the American Tree Farm System.

During the Membership Meeting, President Scott Hanson (Clackamas County) passed the president’s gavel to new President Rick Barnes (Douglas County). Rick will serve a two year term as President and Scott will become Past-president on the Executive Committee. Scott Hayes will step down from the Executive Committee after serving for six years. Thank you Scott for your service to OSWA. Mike Barsotti (Linn County) was nominated for President-Elect and Mike Barnes (Yamhill County) was nominated for a second term as Second Vice President.

Keynote Speaker, Tom Martin, American Forest Foundation President sets the stage for a great program

Keynote Speaker, Tom Martin, American Forest Foundation President sets the stage for a great program

Awards Banquet

During the awards banquet, OSWA recognized eleven Outstanding Chapter Volunteers and three 2016 Riggin’ Slingers. Oregon Tree Farm System recognized Mike Cloughesy, Oregon Forest Resource Institute and Jim Johnson, OSU Forestry Extension as exceptional partners of the American Tree Farm System (ATFS), Paul Calverley received a 25 year ATFS sign, and Rick and Audrey Barnes received a sign as 2014 Western Regional Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year.

Two woods tours, an awards banquet, and a silent auction completed the three day event. Over 175 people participated in one or more of the events. Also, thank you to the annual meeting sponsors Boise Cascade, Guistina Resources, JD Fulwiler, Port Blakely, RSG, Seneca, Silke Communications, Starker Forests, Stimson Lumber Co., and Weyerhaeuser.

2016 Outstanding Chapter Volunteers

Each Year, chapter presidents are asked to identify an outstanding volunteer for their chapter to be recognized at OSWA’s Annual Awards Banquet.

Baker County

Chris & Donna Heffernan have been active volunteers on the tree school East planning committee. Donna has been one of our key Tree School East planning committee members since the program was started in 2002.

Scott Hanson & Rick Barnes present award to Donna Heffernan

Scott Hanson & Rick Barnes present award to Donna Heffernan


In addition to attending the planning meetings and providing much valuable input, the Heffernan’s have contributed logs for classes, volunteering at the registration table and anything and everything else that needs doing. The Heffernans are assisting with a new program studying the economic feasibility of creating BioChar from forest residue.  Chris, Donna and their two sons Justin and Sheldon all work together managing the family’s considerable forestry and farming businesses which include custom haying and forest fuel reduction with their slash buster equipment. They set a great example for others.

The Heffernans were the Union County Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year in 2004 and are voluntary participants in the My Blue Mountain/East Face program. They have hosted numerous tours and forestry and agriculture workshops on their lands, providing superb learning opportunities and inspiring the audiences with their dedication and excellent work.  Chris and Donna have a long history of engaging with and supporting their community in a variety of unique ways such as offering special deer and elk hunting opportunities for disabled and disadvantaged people of all ages. Chris is a past member of the Board of Forestry. They often say, they’re “living the dream” and inspiring other folks to also passionately pursue their natural resource stewardship goals.

Benton County

Roger Workman joined the Benton County OSWA board in 2015. Even though he lives and works full-time in Albany he has taken the extra time to come to Corvallis to volunteer.  Roger enthusiastically accepted the job of Program Coordinator and has organized interesting monthly events to appeal to a variety of interests. The chapter is pleased with his efforts. He has made a notable contribution to the Benton County chapter and we’d like to honor him as our Volunteer of the Year and hope he continues as Program Coordinator for another year!

Clackamas County

Tim Dahl is our outstanding volunteer for 2016. Tim has been invaluable to CCFFA for the time he puts in as Secretary/Treasurer, keeping track of what we are doing and where we are going. He is on the finance committee, works with Jim Schreiber on the burn committee and on tours where needed. He is a Master Woodland Manager.

Columbia County

Columbia County outstanding volunteers are Scott and Sue Russell. What can I say. It is long overdue that the Russell’s are recognized. Columbia County Past president, vice president, secretary, always there to help with a great attitude, a smile and something funny to say. They have been active in state events like Day at the Capitol and Board of Forestry meetings, representing Columbia County.

Coos/Curry County

Jayson Wartnik is the past president of the Coos/Curry County chapter. As president he spent countless hours volunteering to set up tours and lead chapter events. He continues to serve on the chapter board and participates in most chapter activities. Jayson has been a key player in the chapters recent success.

Douglas County

Colene Freadman is the 2016 Outstanding Volunteer of the Year for the Douglas County Chapter. For years, Colene has been a willing worker for our chapter, filling in where needed and assisting when times get busy—for instance, when we hosted two OSWA Annual Meetings in a row. In addition, we have on-going gratitude for her leadership in securing a bond measure that provides permanent funding for the Extension Forestry program in Douglas County.
Most recently, Colene accepted the on-going job of updating and managing the Douglas County portion of the OSWA website. This is a very important communication tool and she is doing a fabulous job of keeping it current and accurate. Thank you Colene for your energy and helpfulness. You help make our Chapter a success!

Scott Hanson & Rick Barnes present award to Colene Freadman

Scott Hanson & Rick Barnes present award to Colene Freadman

Lane County

The Lane Chapter recognizes Steve & Wylda Cafferata as volunteers of the year.  They have both been committed to volunteering for LCSWA’s events.  Steve providing members professional input on forest management processes and Wylda with the planning and coordinating of field events. Over this past year both have committed many hours of their time and services to LCSWA, which we are very thankful for and appreciative of. Steve also volunteers his time as a member of the state’s Emergency Fire Funding Committee representing family forest owners. His experience has been needed as Oregon has experienced three bad fire seasons in a row.

Scott Hanson & Rick Barnes present award to Steve & Wylda Cafferata

Scott Hanson & Rick Barnes present award to Steve & Wylda Cafferata

Lincoln County

Andy Kittel is the Lincoln County Outstanding Volunteer. As an active member of the chapter board Andy provides advise and leadership on the many issues the chapter needs to address. He volunteers his time to make sure OSWA at the state level is successful as well as the county chapter. He actively participates in chapter and state level events and can be counted on when needed to make an OSWA event successful.

Lincoln County Members Gary Springer & Peter Bregman  assist Scott Hayes to present the award to Andy Kittel

Lincoln County Members Gary Springer & Peter Bregman assist Scott Hayes to present the award to Andy Kittel

Linn County

Money earned from our annual Seedling sale is used, in part, to provide college scholarships to deserving Linn County students who major in forestry or other related fields. For more than ten years Katie Kohl has been our Scholarship chairperson, managing this program. Katie works with advisors at each of our areas high schools to insure that we have the best pool of candidates possible and then oversees the selection process. Linn County members get a chance to meet our scholarship recipients at our annual meeting when they are introduced by Katie and relate their experiences.

Katie has remained active in both the Oregon Small Woodlands Association and her community. She has served as a board member and has been secretary of our chapter. She has also consistently helped with our seedling sale and the associated “Goods from the Woods” display. Currently she is a board member of the South Santiam Watershed Council, a U.S. Forest Service outdoor school steward, and a member of the Sweet Home Tree Commission.

Washington County

Washington County Volunteer of the year is Bill Triest.  Bill presently heads up our program committee and has had that role for the last 6 years at least.  In that capacity he, along with the rest of the program committee, organizes the topics for our monthly meetings, identifies and coordinates with speakers, assists with publicity for the meetings and introduces speakers to our members at the meetings.  He pays careful attention to the topics presented so we get a wide variety of program topics for our members to enjoy.  Typically, our meetings are well attended and a big reason for that is the careful consideration that Bill gives to what is being presented.  Identifying tour opportunities for the summer is another responsibility of the program chair and Bill has also come through for us on that.  We’ve visited a number of interesting sites over the past several years.  In addition to being the program chair Bill has also served as a board member in the past, volunteered with our annual plant sale, and has attended numerous small woodlands events.  He is dedicated to his tree farm and dedicated to our organization and we appreciate the work he has done for the Washington County Small Woodlands Association.

Yamhill County

The Yamhill Chapter Small Woodlands Association’s volunteer of the year is Susan Watkins. She is very involved in our local chapter having served on our Board of Directors and has given countless updates at our chapter meetings on various forest and important local issues. Susan has been a member of the Department of Forestry’s Committee for Family Forestlands from 2008-2015 and was acting chair in her final year.  As a member of the Committee for Family Forestlands, Susan helped organize an Oregon Board of Forestry tour of western Oregon tree farms.  She was a co-author of the “Ties to the Land” succession planning program, which has been in use in Oregon and across the country for the past decade.  Susan has spoken at a number of Board of Forestry and State Legislative hearings on behalf of small forest owners.

She is a Master Woodland Manager (2002 class).  Susan has twice written “op-ed” articles about forestry and small forest organizations for her local newspaper, the Yamhill Valley News Register.  She has also given presentations on Oregon resources for small forest landowners at OSWA and WOWnet meetings and 5th graders at the Cruickshank Woodland tour. Oregon State University College of Forestry Extension has honored Susan for her volunteer services on behalf of small woodland owners. Susan and her husband, Arnie Hollander are Yamhill County’s Tree Farmers of the Year for 2016.  We are indebted to them both for their service.

2016 Riggen’ Slinger Award

Each year OSWA selects an OSWA leader as the Riggin’ Slinger. A Riggin’ Slinger is responsible for all the activities in an active high leading logging operation. Things can go wrong and the Riggin’ Slinger is the one who solves problems and keeps everyone safe while meeting the overall objective of keeping logs moving to town. OSWA will recognize three Riggin’ Slingers in 2016.

President Rick Barnes presents Riggin’ Slinger Awards to Greg Peterson, Gary Springer, and Scott Hanson

President Rick Barnes presents Riggin’ Slinger Awards to Greg Peterson, Gary Springer, and Scott Hanson

Scott Hanson has served as President for the last two years at a time when OSWA had a multitude of challenges. The Board of Forestry’s riparian rule making process, a contentious 2016 legislative session, and keeping OSWA healthy financially and growing the OSWA membership. Under Scott’s leadership OSWA had a big impact on the Board of Forestry’s riparian rule decision as he led OSWA’s Water Quality Team, we survived the challenges at the capitol, membership grew in both of the last two years, and OSWA’s financial condition is healthy. Scott has demonstrated the skills of a Riggin’ Slinger.

Greg Peterson was key in OSWA’s approach to influencing the Board of Forestry’s riparian rule making process. OSWA’s Water Quality Team made countless testimony to the Board of Forestry. Greg Peterson was a work horse on the team. He spent over 1000 hours of time reviewing the results of the RipStream study, preparing professional testimony to the Board of Forestry on the short comings of the study, and together with the team influenced the outcome in a way positive for forest owners. Greg has also represented OSWA’s interests in the Department of Environmental Quality’s Mid Coast Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) process. Greg has demonstrated the skills of a Riggin’ Slinger.

Gary Springer has been a leader and advocate for family forest owners for decades. Past member of the OSWA board, actively engaged in the Board of Forestry’s riparian rule making process in the 1990’s, member of the Board of Forestry appointed Committee for Family Forestlands (CFF) who advises the board on family forest issues, and most recently a member of the Board of Forestry. He was the only member of the board with any practical forestry experience when they recently made their decision on the riparian rules. There is no doubt, without Gary’s leadership during the riparian rule making process, forest owners in Oregon would have been unnecessarily harmed by regulation not supported by science. Gary’s interface with the Environmental Quality Commission greatly influenced the outcome. Gary received the Riggin’ Slinger award in 1999 and he has not slowed down. Gary continues to demonstrated the skills of a Riggin’ Slinger.

Silent Auction

This year’s Silent Auction brought in about $3400 that will be used to support OSWA’s regulatory and legislative issues. Participants had a broad range of items to bid on. Thank you to all who made donations for the silent auction. Also, thank you to all who bid on and purchased the items. The Silent Auction revenue has become an important part of OSWA’s annual budget. Special thanks to Chair Ilene Waldorf, Denise Russell, Jan Oyala, Jen Rains, Coleen Freadman, and others who helped on the auction.

Bidders survey the Silent Auction Items

Bidders survey the Silent Auction Items

Defrees Ranch Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year Annual Woods Tour

Written by Admin. Posted in Educational Opportunities, Forestry News, General News, Local Chapter Events, Membership News, OSWA Home Page

Written by: Jim James

The Defrees Family from left to right, Dean, Sharon, Nathan,  Lyle, Riley, Dallas, and Tyler

The Defrees Family from left to right, Dean, Sharon, Nathan,
Lyle, Riley, Dallas, and Tyler

Oregon Tree Farm’s June 11th Annual Tour of the Defrees Ranch near Sumpter, southeast of Baker City, provided vivid examples of land stewardship where cattle and timber come together to support a family ownership. The 2,000 acre Defrees Ranch with 1,227 acres of forestland is Oregon’s 2015 Outstanding Tree Farm of the Year, and the American Tree Farm System’s 2016 Western Region Outstanding Tree Farm of the Year. Approximately 160 people attended the tour got to see why. The ranch has been in the family for 107 years.

Pre-commercial and commercial thinning demonstrations

Pre-commercial and commercial thinning demonstrations

A variety of management activities included a unique dredge tailing restoration project, tree thinning, aspen restoration, and spring water development. Dallas Defrees, a fifth generation member of the family and an Oregon State University graduate student studying ranchland ecology, explained how the Defrees Ranch in partnership with Baker County designed a project to restore barren dredge tailing. Beginning in 1913, dredges churned up rocks and gold leaving 2500 acres of the Sumpter valley with mounts of near sterile land. A portion of the tailings are adjacent to the Defrees Ranch’s northern border. Dallas described how by winter feeding cattle on the tailing, they were able to decreased bare ground, decreased weed species, and increased soil fertility and thus increase plant diversity and biomass.

Lyle Defrees and his son Dean, Dallas’ father, lead the tour through grazed pastures and managed forests. At the first stop Lyle and Dean explained their cattle management strategies and how they integrated grazing and forest management. The second stop dealt with Quaking Aspen restoration. Dean explained how Aspen is declining in eastern and central Oregon due to a number of factors that include lack of wildfire and wildlife/cattle grazing. The Defreeses contracted with a nursery to grow aspen seedlings which they have planted in fenced off areas.

Dean describes spring and water projects needed for cattle, wildlife, and fire protection.

Dean describes spring and water projects needed for cattle, wildlife, and fire protection.

The third stop demonstrated the precommercial thinning methods they use to promote forest health, reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire, and improve grazing. Saplings up to 2-3 inches are cut with a brush cutter, and larger pre-merch trees are removed with a tree shear. Adjacent to the thinning demonstration was a spring development project to benefit both wildlife and cattle. It was cost-shared through the Natural Resources Conservation Service program. The final stop looked at commercial thinning and slash disposal in the ranch’s predominate ponderosa pine forest. A roast beef luncheon held under sunny skies and the Blue Mountains as the backdrop provided a fitting conclusion to a most informative tour.

Tractor/Trailer Transportation - Dean and Lyle Defrees discusses integrating cattle

Tractor/Trailer Transportation – Dean and Lyle Defrees discusses integrating cattle

2016 OSWA Annual Meeting

Written by Admin. Posted in General News, Local Chapter Events, Meetings, Membership News, OSWA Home Page, Statewide OSWA Events

You are invited to OSWA’s Annual Meeting & Banquet – Don’t miss this fun networking opportunity! 

2016 Oregon Small Woodlands Association Meeting
“Sustaining Family Forest – Celebrating 75 Years”
June 9th, 10th & 11th 2016
Baker City, Oregon

Oregon Small Woodlands Association Annual Meeting is set for June 9th, 10th, and 11th in Baker City. The theme is “Sustaining Family Forests – Celebrating 75 Years”.

OSWA will be jointly celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the American Tree Farm System (ATFS) with the Oregon Tree Farm System (OTFS).

Highlights will include a Dealing with Fire woods tour Thursday afternoon, June 9th, a full day of educational programs specifically designed for family forest owners, an Awards Banquet, and Silent Auction on June 10th, and the Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year woods tour in the morning of June 11th.

See the Annual Meeting Brochure for details and registration information. OSWA’s Annual Meeting is open to the public and we encourage all interested parties to register and participate.

South Coast Fish Passage &Habitat Workshop – March 9

Written by Admin. Posted in Coos / Curry, Educational Opportunities, OSWA Home Page, Statewide OSWA Events

Registration is open for the South Coast Fish Passage and Habitat Workshop 

Date: March 9, 2016
Time: 8:00am to 4:30pm

Location: Southwestern Oregon Community College
1988 Newmark Avenue, Coos Bay 97420

Statewide and local partners are collaborating to offer a free workshop for forest landowners in the South Coast area.

This one-day workshop will highlight the best practices for restoring and enhancing fish habitat in forested streams.

Registration is currently open at: www.eventbrite.com/e/southern-coast-fish-passage-and-habitat-workshop-registration-19893181040

Please contact Julie Woodward, woodward@ofri.org, for any questions.

Download the Event Flyer Here.

Download the Event Flyer Here.

News Release

Event News Release


Marr Bros Tour – March 16

Written by Admin. Posted in Educational Opportunities, Forestry News, General News, Marion / Polk, Membership News, OSWA Home Page, Statewide OSWA Events

Please join us for a tour of the Marr Bros property in Monmouth, Oregon.

We will tour a natural gas kiln, large firewood processor, considerable infrastructure for making firewood bundles in massive quantities. The Marr Bros firewood business growing rapidly, and uses many different species of wood to make firewood.

Date: Wednesday, March 16
Time: 9:30am
Address: 875 S. Pacific Hwy, Monmouth, OR 97361

Please Bring: Hardhats, high visibility vests, real shoes.  The tour will be outside predominantly so dress for the weather. The tour will likely take an hour or so, depending on the number of questions.