Welcome to Benton County OSWA Chapter


“Hike with Mike” Mini Forest Tour Oct 2020
Photo Credit: Scott Harris

In these challenging times of pandemic precautions, Benton Small Woodland Association successfully held mini-forest-tours on Saturday, October 17, 2020.

Attendance was limited to ten or fewer participants. Three tours were scheduled at the same time at different locations. Participants were required to wear face covering when on the tour, as well as keeping social distance. We had a beautiful fall day and a great opportunity for learning and sharing.

We’ve received such great reviews from attendees that we hope to host additional mini-tours in the near future. If you would like to host a mini-tour on your forest, or for more tour information, contact Pat Boren at Borenwood99@gmail.com

Tour 1: Dave and Sarah Ehlers, J2E Tree Farm, Kings Valley

We enjoyed a leisurely and relatively flat 1-2 mile walk through the woods discussing the history, hardships, lessons learned and results of the forestry practices on on J2E Tree Farm. We visited Sarah’s Run – 2004 riparian restoration, the 2008 pre-commercial thinning of a conifer stand and an oak release project, the 2015 commercial thinning and oak release on 62 acres, and the 2018-2020 pre-commercial thinning and pruning for stand health and fire resiliency.

I think that folks enjoyed the tour here on Saturday. Like Mike’s, the small number of guests led to thoughtful questions and discussions. We had a distinct advantage after Brad Winthrow-Robinson, Benton Co Extension Forester, volunteered to fill our last slot Friday evening, and all it took was the offer of some of Sarah’s cookies. Brad added timely explanations and insights for which I am grateful. Thanks to Pat Boren, for his behind the scenes bird-dogging. – Dave Ehlers

Tour 2: Van and Ann Decker Tree farm, South of Philomath

Ten people wearing masks met at Van Decker’s tree farm west of Philomath on Saturday,  October 17th.
The main formal events involved measuring about 30 trees in a 10th-acre test plot to compare growth rates,  looking at a patch of cedar trees that had been planted where Douglas Fir had died from root rot, and selecting trees for a thinning. Then Van Decker used a chain saw to cut down three of the trees we selected for removal.
But for me the best part was listening to Van talk about his life, family and tree farm. A super tour.   — Dave Sullivan

At our first stop on the tour, each person used a D tape to measure tree diameter in a 1/10th-acre plot. Then we did the math to calculate the board feet in the plot to get the board feet/acre. At the next stop, we looked at a group of trees Van had measured each year for 25 years. It was interesting to see the different rates of growth, depending on the amount of sunlight received. On the final stop of the tour, we visited a 24-year-old Doug fir stand that had been pre-commercial thinned (PCT) 10 years ago. We laid out a 1/10th acre plot 37.25 feet radius (27 trees in the plot = 270 trees / acre) and selected the ten poorest trees to cut. — Van Decker

Selected trees for thinning
Photo Credit: Van Decker
Leave trees at 170 trees / acre
Photo Credit: Van Decker
Sky view at 270 trees/acre
Photo Credit: Van Decker
Sky view at 170 trees/acre
Photo Credit: Van Decker

Tour 3: Mike Albrecht, West of Philomath

“Hike with Mike” Mini Tour Oct 2020
Photo Credit: Sarah Edwardsson

The Hike with Mike (Albrecht) started off from the Woods Creek Road with an energetic hill climb. As we observed his pre-commercial thinning project Mike told us some of the history of the property. He bought it in late 1997 as a logged-over property. He had the trees planted right after purchase. At 79 acres, it just misses qualifying as a homesite.
His 25 acre thinning project by Miller Timber started in January, so he was able to get it done before Covid-19 and fire fighting season. Mike discussed the costs of PCT and how that affected his decisions. At $35/man hour plus $5/chainsaw hour, and $3/hour additional for foreman, Mike opted to leave minor shrub species such as ocean spray and hazel since they aren’t offering much competition at this point. Cascara, chinquapin, elderberry and yew were specifically left for wildlife and the diversity they provide, as well as all cedar and hemlock trees, also for the diversity they provide.
With a 23 year old stand, Mike followed the OSU Extension Stand Density Table aiming for 200 trees per acre. On the demonstration plot that Mike had marked out, it appeared that the spacing was still a bit tight and was still in the danger zone. However, the project has reduced the spacing to a level where he can do “touch up” work himself.
Our mini-tour was informative. We had two knowledgeable foresters with us, Mike and Dave Hibbs, who provided answers to our questions. Thanks to Mike for hosting this great hike and tour! –Nancy Hathaway

2020-2021 Benton County Tree Farmer of the Year

Crestmont Farm Ed Easterling, Benton County’s 2020 TFOY established Crestmont Farm in 2005 on 775 acres of intensively managed, heavily- harvested industrial forestlands with the objective of balancing wood production and habitat management. He immediately began working with consulting foresters and others to maintain and enhance the forest plantations while looking towards restoration of the property’s other resources.Over the past 15 years, Ed and his team have transformed industrial timberlands just west of Corvallis into a community resource. Crestmont farm has expanded to approximately 1,600 contiguous acres. This diverse property now includes traditional timber plantations, mixed-species naturally regenerated forests, oak woodlands and savannas, multiple riparian zones and open pastures. There is also critical habitat for several threatened, endangered, and declining species of animals and plants. The property provides personal recreation and a series of public trails supported by informational signs. They are open and used for private and public tours, educational meetings and research. Ed has accomplished so much in this time in part due to his penchant for – and long professional experience in – developing and executing long-term, multiple-benefit management plans. The forest management plan helps identify and prioritize objectives, take advantage of converging objectives and minimizing impacts among those that compete.Ed’s Key objectives include: • creating long-term economic value by producing materials that support the improvement of people’s lives, • demonstrate responsible natural resource stewardship by managing for (a) habitat diversity, (b) forest, woodland, and pasture health, and (c) ecological integrity to benefit wildlife, plants, and people, • address the effects of a changing climate on agricultural production and habitat management, • manage to reduce the risk of damage by wildfire on timber, structures, and people, and• develop recreational, educational, and research experiences.

Excerpted from:

Benton County Extension Newsletter “Growing” Sept-Oct 2020 https://extension.oregonstate.edu/sites/default/files/documents/9371/growingsept-oct20finalweb.pdf

Check out Shiver River Farm’s blog at http://shiverriver.net
for more wildlife sightings from their trail camera this summer.
I’m going to have to set one of those cameras up on my place!
Why are Dave and Sarah smiling?
It’s fire season and they have a water wagon.
“Another Day at the Office” – Photo credit Pat Boren

The Art & Science of Trail Building

by Matt McPharlin
Presented at the Benton County Chapter Annual Meeting – January 2020

2019 Tree Farmer of the Year Tour at Shiver River

2019 OSWA Annual Meeting

June 20th, 2019

The 2019 OSWA annual meeting was hosted by the Benton County Chapter and held in Corvallis. The theme was Research Policies, and Programs for Family Forestland Management. Thanks to everyone for participating in three days of engaging and informative events and a great opportunity to visit with neighbors and friends.

Welcome by Mike Cloughesy

Session One – Fire Panel
Fire in PNW Landscapes—Past, Present and Future
Jane Kertis – Ecologist, Northwest Oregon Ecology Group, US Forest Service

Cross-Boundary, Landscape-Scale Restoration and Wildfire Risk Reduction: Experiences from Southern Oregon
Dan Leavell – OSU Forestry & Natural Resources Extension Agent, Klamath and Lake Counties

2019 Fire Season & Beyond
Doug Grafe – Chief of Fire Protection, Oregon Department of Forestry

Session Two – Carbon Panel

Oregon Forest Carbon Overview
Peter Daugherty – Oregon State Forester

Oregon Forest Ecosystem Carbon Report
Glenn Christensen – Forester, USFS Forest Inventory & Analysis

Carbon Sequestration in Wood Products
Andrew Yost – Ecologist, Oregon Department of Forestry

Session Three – Forestry Education Panel

Impact Educators, Impact the Future
Lee Ann Mikkelson, Director, Oregon Natural Resource Education Program

Telling the Family Forest Story
Anna Yarbrough – Consulting Forester, Free Range Forestry, LLC

Mountaincrest Forest Conservation Easement
Connie Best – CEO The Pacific Forest Trust

Session Four – Wildlife Research

Uncovering the Secret World of a Secretive SeabirdLindsay Adrean – Lead Faculty Research Assistant, Oregon State University

Benton Chapter Board of Directors

Benton Chapter has an active board of directors. Feel free to contact them for information on this chapter and its activities and events.

For general inquiries, please email bentoncoswa@gmail.com

  • President – David Ehlers @ 541-231-7094
  • Treasurer – Jane Brandenburg
  • Secretary – Dena Oakes
  • Membership – Sarah Edwardsson @ 541-745-2062
  • OSWA Rep –  Nancy Hathaway @ 541-758-5510
  • Program Chair – Pat Boren @ 541-929-2144
  • Education Chair – Rita Adams @ 541-752-3324
  • Tree Farmer of Year Program Chair – David Hibbs @ 541-752-3245
  • Member at large – Mike Albrecht @ 541-231-0337
  • Member at large – Karen Fleck Harding @ 541-929-6398
  • Member at large – Diana Blakney

Meeting Minutes

The Quarterly Bark Newsletter

The Quarterly Bark is the joint newsletter for Benton, Lane, Linn, and Lincoln County OSWA chapters. You can access current and past editions here.

Benton County OSWA Chapter News & Events

Smokey Says

Only you can prevent wildfires

Benton Events

No Events

Upcoming Events

Jan 2021

YCSWA: Wildfire 2020 - 01/27/2021 at 6:15 pm - 7:30 pm
WCSWA Monthly Meeting - 2020 Fires: What Have We Learned? - 01/27/2021 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Benton Small Woodlands Virtual Annual Meeting - 01/28/2021 at 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Feb 2021

Deer & Elk Habitat - 02/18/2021 at 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
DSWA Annual Meeting - 02/24/2021 at 5:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Mar 2021

Options for Prescribed Fire on Private Lands in Oregon - 03/18/2021 at 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Apr 2021

Twilight Walk in the Woods Phil and Laura Benedetti - 04/01/2021 at 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

May 2021

Douglas Tree Farmer of the Year for 2020 Tour, Richard and Donna Rawson - 05/01/2021 at 8:00 am - 1:00 pm

Sep 2021

Douglas Tree Farmer of the Year 2021 - 09/18/2021 at 8:00 am - 1:00 pm

Forgot Password?

Join Us