By Jeremy Felty
On June 30th in conjunction with OSWA’s Annual Meeting, 150 participants visited the 79-acre Cafferata Family Forest located in Lane County, hosted by the Cafferata family, OSWA’s Lane County Chapter, and Oregon Tree Farm System. It was funded by a grant to OSWA from Oregon Forest Resource Institute. Steve and Wylda Cafferata have owned this property since 2009. The tour focused on topics that the Cafferatas deal with on a daily basis, including thinning on the property, the presence of wildlife on the property, the controlling of unwanted vegetation, various reforestation strategies, and the importance of keeping the family involved.
The Cafferatas have a deep back ground in forestry. In 2009, Steve and Wylda, after raising four children and working for 35 years in their professions, realized one of their dreams by purchasing 79 acres of forestland. The land had been logged, replanted haphazardly, and then neglected for decades, so they set to work to bring the land under management. Using their skills, the Cafferatas put together an exemplary forest management plan that was certified to the American Tree Farm System in 2010. The results are great attention to wood, water, recreation, and wildlife and all the other attributes found in a working forest. The entire family, including the third generation, is involved in the management and enjoyment of the property.
Every speaker on the woods tour was a member of the family, the goal for the tour was to discuss the topics provided by the certification guidelines provided by the American Tree Farm System. Mike Cafferata spoke about thinning and vegetation management; Fran Cafferata Coe spoke about wildlife on the property; Joe Cafferata spoke about road maintenance and maintaining water quality; Wylda Cafferata spoke about aesthetics, fire protection, and security and access; Steve Cafferata spoke about soils, brush field rehabilitation, and planting; and Sam Cafferata spoke about recreation on their property.