By Jim James
OSWA enjoyed another successful Annual Meeting June 28-30 in Springfield, once again hosted by Lane County’s OSWA chapter. Thursday’s mill tours and board meeting, Friday’s program, and Saturday’s woods tour were all well attended and as in 2017, Lane County was a wonderful host.
Keynote Speaker, Seneca CEO, Todd Payne spoke about the importance of being a good neighbor and in addressing public concerns to protect forest landowners, wood product manufacturers, and forest operator’s ability to maintain our public license to operate. Forestry and wood products have been under the public’s microscope for a long time and being a good steward is a requirement to staying in business. He described how Seneca maintains their public license to operate.
This was one of the largest annual meetings in OSWA’s recent history. On Thursday, ninety participants visited either Seneca Sawmill’s lumber and bio-energy facilities, Rosboro’s lumber and laminated beam facilities, Northwest Hardwood’s sawmill, or Swanson Groups Plywood Plant. Thank you to Seneca, Rosboro, Northwest Hardwoods, and Swanson Group for their hospitality. Fifty-four members participated in the Thursday night board dinner and board meeting.
The program on Friday, following Keynote Speaker Todd Payne, had speakers on how to improve communications with one’s legislators, climate change, health of Oregon forests, forest pollinators, global wood supply and markets, fire season concerns, fire policy impacts, potential changes in smoke management rules, how pesticides are regulated, Forest Practices Act requirements when using herbicides, and initiative petitions at the county level to regulate the use of herbicides on forest land. Candidate for Governor, Knute Buehler, described his vision for forestry and rural Oregon. Governor Kate Brown, who was also invited, declined the invitation, sighting a conflict.
On Friday, the annually required OSWA Membership Meeting took place before lunch. Executive Director gave a State of the Association message reporting OSWA completing the 2017/2018 Workplan approved by the board, the 2017/2018 Budget is in line with expectations, OSWA is financiallystable, and it apperas OSWA will have a minor increase in membership growth for 2018. The membership nominated Ken Nygren as President Elect and Mike Barnes to continue as a Second Vice President on the Executive Committee when his term expires. The membership also endorsed a recommendation from the board to modify the OSWA bylaws to remove the vote by mail requirents and replace them with making all decisioins requiring membership approval will be determined by a vote of the members present at the Annual Membership Meeting. See details in election form and envelope in this newsletter and the article on page x about the bylaw change recommendation. At the conclusion of the Membership Meeting, President Rick Barnes passed the President,s gavel to Mike Barsotti, OSWA’s new President.
There were 185 participants who enjoyed a great program, twelve exhibitors, OSWA product sales, and a successful Silent Auction. Thank you to the exhibitors, OSWA’s Linn County Chapter who coordinated the OSWA Product Sales, Ilene Waldorf who chaired the Silent Auction, those who donated items for the auction, and the 65 bidders who paid over $5000 for the items sold at the auction.
Follwing Friday’s program there was a Silent Auction Social and OSWA’s Annual Awards Banquet. 160 enjoyed the banquet. Eveniing Speaker, Barb Lachenbruch, discussed making maple syrup from Oregon’s Big Leaf Maple.
2018 Chapter Outstanding Volunteers of the Year
Baker County – Bob Parker is Baker County’s Outstanding Volunteer of the Year. As the OSU Forestry Extension Agent, he has gone far beyond his responsibilities to assist the Baker County Chapter to be a successful chapter. His collaboration skills work wonders reaching out to family forest owners in Northeast Oregon. He was intricately involved in organizing two successful OSWA Annual Meetings in Baker City and has the respect of the community. Bob is retiring in 2018. His skills will be missed.
Benton County – The Benton Chapter recognized Dave Hibbs as their Volunteer of the Year for 2018. Dave’s leadership, commitment and ability to organize and delegate were critical to the very successful 2018 Tree Farmer of the Year and Neighbor to Neighbor tour of May 19 at the Carr-Oakes Family Forest. He is also an active Benton County member.
Clackamas County – Rob Guttridge is only a two-year member of Clackamas County Farm Forestry Association, and at their annual meeting in 2016, he volunteered to take on the editing of our Forest Tree Leader and serve as Vice President of the chapter at the same time. He volunteers at the Hopkins Demonstration Forest workdays as well, and has helped the Clackamas County Extension with projects, programs, and tours when he is able. The chapter highly values Rob’s time and commitment to the chapter and are proud to honor him as their 2018 Volunteer of the Year.
Columbia County – Bill Hanson and Rod Nastrom are the Columbia County Volunteers of the Year. Both are active members of the Columbia County Chapter participating in the planning of and participation in most chapter events. They can be counted on when needed.
Coos/Curry County – Mitch Clarke is Coos/Curry County’s Volunteer of the Year. He is currently the President of the chapter and the leader who organizes events and keeps the chapter active in the community. He has attended hearings at the Capitol and has been active in representing the chapter on Curry County After the Fire issues following the 2017 devastating fire season in Southwest Oregon.
Douglas County – Tami Braz has abundant energy. She always seems to be working for her chapter. She diligently performs the job of secretary, membership chairman, interviews long-term members for newsletters stories, compiles the newsletter, displays membership materials, and sells signs at tours & functions. She is a strong asset to the Douglas County Chapter and is their Volunteer of the Year.
Jackson/Josephine County – Peggy Martin is the Volunteer of the Year for Jackson/Josephine County. She is the Membership Committee Chairman and an active member of the chapter board. Peggy was on the recent Bill and Marion Collins Neighbor to Neighbor Tour committee and through her leadership, eleven new members signed up for OSWA following the event.
Lane County – Rick and Rebecca Fain reside on their tree farm just north of Florence and stepped forward in 2015, as a team, to serve on LCSWA’s board and represent the Florence area of Lane County. Both are committed to supporting and attending chapter activities and willingly travel back and forth from Florence to assist with and attend all board meetings and chapter events. Both have helped organize field trips as well as provide the administrative support needed to insure such events are successful. Last year they provided special assistance helping with the planning OSWA’s 2017 Annual Meeting in Florence. This year they have been active with providing support and assistance with LCSWA planning for OSWA’s 2018 annual meeting in Springfield. Rick, along with Rebecca, are strong supporters of LCSWA and both are deserving of this special recognition as Outstanding Volunteers of the Year.
Linn County – Jim Merzenich is Linn County’s Volunteer of the Year. He is a Past Chapter President, Chairman of Linn County’s Membership Committee and the web-master for the chapter. Jim is instrumental in planning and helping with all chapter activities. He has been a superb mentor to President Bill Bowling, providing guidance to him as he performs the duties as President.
Lincoln County – Tim Miller has been selected by Lincoln County’s Board as their 2018 Volunteer of the Year. Tim’s service to OSWA and the Oregon Farm Bureau as a spokes person has been outstanding. He has provided critical representation on government issues facing Lincoln County’s timber and cattle industries. He has ben involved in the County Fair, 4H, water issue regulations, and is always willing to help a friend. Tim was Lincoln County’s Tree Farmer of the Year in 2016.
Yamhill County – Yamhill Chapter’s 2018 Volunteer of the Year is Ken Nygren. Ken is a member of the Yahmill Chapter Board and serves as Treasurer. He is also, very active in organizing meetings and has led tours for the chapter and for others. Ken is a professional forester and administers a woodland management assistance program for Bell Pole which has proved very valuable for many OSWA members. He is also active in many other community volunteer activities. It is great to be able to count on him. Ken was also nominated as President Elect for OSWA at the Annual Membership Meeting on June 29th.
Washington County – Washington County Small Woodlands Association Volunteer of the Year for 2018 is Don Sohler. Don retired from Oregon Department of Forestry a few years ago, and when he saw that the Washington County Chapter needed someone to chair the Seedling Committee, he volunteered. This position gets very busy in February and March when seedlings are picked up and delivered. The volunteers who help pick up seedlings from Lewis River Reforestation are especially happy that Don has recognized the need to provide a break with lunch after arriving at the cooler and before unloading seedlings. Our seedling customers appreciate how Don accommodates them in picking up their seedlings. He has initiated new ideas to make the seedling sale run smoothly and encourage customers to join OSWA if they are not already members.
Nominees for Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year
Oregon Tree Farm System (OTFS) Awards Chairman, Dick Courter, announced the six nominees for Oregon’s 2018 Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year. Each county can have one nominees per year. Nominees are:
- Benton County – Marsha Oakes Carr
- Clackamas County – Tim Dahl and Debi Poppe
- Lane County – Linda Hull
- Linn County – Sherman and Leslie Weld
- Umatilla County – Tom and Cindy Beechinor
- Washington County – Richard and Connie Gaebel
The 2018 Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year will be announced on October 27th during the OTFS’s Annual Meeting at the Oregon Garden in Silverton. It is not too early to be thinking about who each County’s Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year nominee for 2019 will be. Each year, OSWA invites the chapter who nominated the Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year to host OSWA’s Annual Meeting and Tree Farmer of the Year woods tour as part of the meeting.
Riggin’ Slinger Award
Recent Past President Rick Barnes received the 2018 Riggin’ Slinger Award. As OSWA’s President, Rick has been a strong leader and provided guidance to OSWA’s recent successes. He and his wife Audrey have been frequent participants at legislative hearings, Board of Forestry meetings and most recently, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Commission meetings, testifying for OSWA on issues important to family forest owners and OSWA’s membership. Rick has also served on the Oregon Forest and Industries Council’s (OFIC) board representing OSWA. As a member of OSWA’s Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC), he has been fully engaged on all issues important to forestry for many years. Rick served two terms on the Committee for Family Forestlands (CFF), a committee appointed by the Board of Forestry to advise them on family forest issues. Rick will serve as Past President on the OSWA Executive Committee for the next two years.