Welcome to the Benton County Small Woodlands Association! We are an active chapter that holds regular tours of each others’ tree farms, lectures, and other educational events to support responsible forest management, network, and share our knowledge.
Our monthly meetings are USUALLY held on the first Monday of each month from 4pm – 6pm; contact any board member for the Zoom link (virtual meetings) or physical location. (We change venues depending on circumstances.)
We also have a Facebook Group where you can share comments, observations, and pictures with BCSW members—join the conversation!
Ed Easterling of Crestmont Farm – Ranch – Land Trust 2021 ***OREGON*** Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year
Ed established Crestmont Farm in 2005 on 775 acres of intensively managed, heavily-harvested industrial forest lands 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 timber lands just west of Corvallis into a community resource.
2020 – 2021 BCSW TFOY Tour Report
Crestmont Farm Family showcases innovative land management
(2021 TFOY Tour Report by Dave Hibbs)
Crestmont Farm Family and Ed Easterling have done incredible things with this property. The property is divided into 3 units, each with different management plans.
The first management unit focuses on commercial timber production with some thoughtful consideration of diversity and habitat improvement.
The second unit is managed for pasture and agroforestry. Pasture management with grazing has been particularly beneficial for the Oregon Vesper Sparrow. Crestmont uses an intense rotational grazing approach during the growing season. Cattle graze pastures for a few days and then rotate around to other pastures for a few weeks before returning to previously grazed areas.
The result is reduced grass height after grazing that is still high enough to protect the ground-nesting Vesper Sparrow, yet short enough to enable successful nesting. The agroforestry effort has created oak woodlands and savannas, one of the classic foothills ecosystems.
The third unit is a conservation land trust and is managed for diversity, education, and recreation. Our walking tour explored this third unit. We were fortunate to have Ed’s skilled team accompany us. . . .
Greg Palmer: 2021 Benton Small Woodlands Outstanding Chapter Volunteer
Greg’s roots in forestry go back to the ‘60s in Kansas. He became involved with OSU extension and OSWA when Greg and his wife Marilyn purchased a forested property in Oregon during 2004. From the beginning, Greg saw the value in being mentored by foresters. He credits the help he received from both the Extension Service and OSWA as critical to his family’s education. Field trips, Fire School, forestry and viticulture courses are some of the activities Greg names for being so valuable. Greg has also been active in the Oregon Tree Farm System.
In terms of service to OSWA, Greg has helped at plant sales and holiday greenery sales. He has also been a volunteer at the Starker Lecture Series. Around 2010, Greg and his family hosted a tour at their Lurking Turkey Farm. He was tapped for the role of Treasurer of our chapter, an office he held until 2017. As Treasurer, Greg was in charge of collecting door prizes for our annual meeting from forestry suppliers. Fortunately for us, he continues to maintain those relationships and has stayed in charge of that activity even after leaving the board. The Benton Small Woodlands Association thanks Greg for his many hours of service and congratulates him on this recognition.
(by Sarah Edwardsson)
Mini Tour Report: Krause Family Tree Farm October Forty Acres of History and Experience
On a beautiful fall day, Saturday, October 16th, 20 fellow tree farmers toured the Kraus Family Tree Farm. Harold and Betty Krause spent over 40 years logging and thinning their 40 acre tree farm. Loggers, truckers, neighbors shared stories about Harold and experiences that have shaped what the tree farm is today.
2021 Annual Picnic Report: July 24th Castle Family Forest (Wren, OR)
On July 24th, the Benton County chapter of the Small Woodlands Association held its annual picnic at the Castle Family Forest. The approximately 35 picnickers mingled, ate, and paid rapt attention when member Van Decker recounted the history of the 20 acre forest donated to the Philomath Community Foundation by Emery Castle and his daughter, Cheryl Rogers. Decker described Castle as a man of many contributions. He enlisted in the Air Force immediately after Pearl Harbor, became a much beloved professor of agricultural economics at Oregon State University, and, by the gift of the Castle Family Forest, offered the best possible practical forest education to the youth of Philomath.
In addition to honoring Emery Castle and his daughter, the picnickers cheered loudly when member Ed Easterling, Benton County chapter’s 2020 Tree Farmer of the Year, and now Oregon’s 2021 Tree Farmer of the Year, arrived at the picnic! Way to go, Crestmont Farm!
(by Diana Blakney)
Mini Tour Report: March Girl Scout Camp Managing for Production & Recreation
It was a thought provoking tour in that they are having to manage the forest for long term financial support of the camp as well as aesthetics while providing a great experience for the campers.
Mini-Tour Report: May Bird Walk
Mini-Tour Report: Wildflower Hike
On May 8th the Benton County chapter of the Small Woodlands Association hosted a wildflower hike, one of several outdoor gatherings held by the chapter over the past several months. The hike was attended by a dozen people and was led by Mike Albrecht.
Benton County OSWA Chapter News & Events
Kraus Family Tree Farm Oct 16th Mini-Tour by Rita Adams With a warming fire provided by Van Decker, owners Rita Adams, Beverly Crabtree and John Krause welcomed 20 fellow tree farmers to their tree farm. Harold and Betty Krause spent over 40 years logging and thinning. Removing over 1700MBF on their 40 acre tree farm. […]
(Article and photos provided by David Hibbs) Crestmont Farm Family and Ed Easterling have done incredible things with this property. The property is divided into 3 units, each with different management plans. The first management unit focuses on commercial timber production with some thoughtful consideration of diversity and habitat improvement. The second unit is managed […]
Castle Family Forest Photos from the April 17th Mini-Tour Van Decker told about the history of the 20 acre forest which was donated to the Philomath Community Foundation by Emery Castle and his daughter, Cheryl Rogers, in 2016. The Castle family’s gift was designated to be used for environmental education with goals of expanding Philomath […]
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.
About the Benton Chapter
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. More information is also available on the chapter’s Facebook Group.
For general inquiries, please email email@example.com.
- President – David Ehlers @ 541-231-7094
- Treasurer – Jane Brandenburg
- Secretary – Diana Blakney
- 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 – Dena Oakes
- Member at large – Darrell Oakes
- Member at large – Ed Easterling