Join the West Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District and your neighbors at Rural Living Field Day, Saturday, October 1, 2011 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Malinowski Farm, 13450 NW Springville Road, Portland.
Experts from a wide variety of non-profit and government agencies will be on hand to teach and answer questions about issues on your land, including forestry, pastures, livestock, wildlife, invasive weeds, marketing your farm, water and soil quality and conservation planning.
This is also a wonderful opportunity for you to talk with your neighbors about the issues they face on their properties, learn about the types of conservation projects that have been completed in your neighborhood and discover what might be possible for you and your woods, farm, garden or natural area. You can also learn about the variety of funding sources available for the projects you have in mind.
Cost is only $10 per person or $15 per family. Lunch will be provided. Lots of information, brochures and guides will be available free of charge. Registration is required. Just click “Events” at http://www.wmswcd.org/and select the Rural Living Field Day. Please fill out the form and send it in with your check to WMSWCD, 2701 NW Vaughn Street, Ste. 450,Portland, OR, 97210. Call Forest Conservationist Michael Ahr (503/238-4775, ext. 109) or Rural Conservationist Scott Gall (503/238-4775, ext. 105) for more information.
Attendees will choose which classes they wish to attend during each of three sessions during the day. Each session will be led by local resource managers and professionals. Partners for this comprehensive educational event include the Tualatin, Clackamas and Columbia Soil & Water Conservation Districts; OSU Extension; Oregon Forest Resources Institute, Oregon Department of Forestry and Oregon Small Woodlands Association.
I’d like to give a shout out to my friend, Extension co-worker, and hard-core cyclist Nicole Strong, who is combining her work and workout on the Cycle Oregon route this week. Every day along the route through the rural hills of southern Oregon, Nicole and a cadre of volunteers are hosting an information tent and engaging riders in conversations about the forests they are passing through. Nicole is writing about the ride on her blog and you can follow along, here.
Summer must be coming to an end. I say that not because the kids are going back to school or the tomatoes are (finally) starting to turn red, but because today I got my first call of the year about a strange and striking looking insect.
This is a banded alder borer. It is a native wood boring insect, but it is not considered a forest pest because it generally infests dead or downed wood (people often find them on their firewood piles). This insect is often confused with the Asian Longhorn Beetle, which is one of the nation’s most un-wanted invasive pests. If you find a large, black and white insect with long antennae, chances are it’s the banded alder borer (the good guy), but to be sure, look for a white head with a large black dot on it. See the photo above.
I am not sure about the banded alder borer’s life history, but I think the adults must be most active in August and September because that’s when the calls and emails start to come in.
There are lots of reasons to have a written forest management plan. You need one to be a member of the Tree Farm system. You need one to obtain cost-share funding. You can use it to plan and keep track of future management activities.
There are also lots of reasons why most landowners don’t have a management plan. The fun of woodland ownership is in the doing, not in the writing down what you have done or are going to do! Writing a plan takes time and a certain level of knowledge, and having a professional write one for you takes money.
If you’ve been putting off writing or updating your forest management plan, this fall is the opportunity to git-‘er-done. OSU Extension will be conducting a four-session Mentored Management Planning workshop in St. Helens. You’ll be guided through the writing process and will be paired with an experienced mentor who can provide one-on-one assistance. Work on your plan for “homework” between sessions, and by Thanksgiving you’ll have finished the writing and can get back to the doing!
Scappoose Bay Watershed Council is sponsoring the following event. Maybe I will see some of you there!
Creek School Forestry Class – August 15,2011, 6:30 -8:30 pm
Come see what’s in Today’s Forests The Oregon Forestry Plan
Oregon wood products
Prescribed burns and wildfire threat
Forestry management in the face of: Changing markets
Global climate change
Population expansion (urban sprawl)
See how you fit into the BIG picture
Speakers will include:
» Amy Grotta OSU Extension Forester
» Dave Powers Regional Manager for Forests and Rangelands US EPA Region 10
JOIN US: August 15,2011 6:30 -8:30 pm ($15) Pre-registration requested OSU Extension Office
505 N. Columbia River Hwy St. Helens, OR 97051
To register contact the Scappoose Bay Watershed Council
503-397-7904 or firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are looking to get outdoors, meet fellow woodland owners, and learn something new, then Saturday, July 23 is the day for you. That day there’s not one, not two, but THREE awesome woodland events to choose from. The hard part may be deciding which one to attend! Here is the rundown:
In Forest Grove, there’s the Washington County Small Woodlands Association summer tour at the Howell Tree Farm, 9 am – 3 pm. Activities include portable sawmill, firewood processing & pruning demonstrations, stream restoration, walking tour, and a free BBQ lunch courtesy of the Tualatin Soil & Water Conservation District, OSWA and the Oregon Forest Resources Institute. 51075 NW Cox Rd, Forest Grove. For details, contact WCSWA.
Further south, in Lafayette is an event from 2-6 pm sponsored by the Build Local Alliance at the Trappist Abbey. Tour topics will include silviculture, invasive species, FSC wood products and markets, and working forest conservation easements. RSVP to email@example.com.
Thursday, July 7th, 6:00 – 9:00 pm
“Keeping Your Little Trees Growing”
This gathering will be an opportunity to talk about reforestation challenges and strategies to keep your planted seedlings growing strong. What’s worked (and not worked) for you? Come ready to share your experiences with weed control, animal damage, insects and diseases, and other concerns. We will look at some young trees of several species planted by host Robin Lindsley on her small property, and talk about her efforts to get them “free to grow”.
Whether you are new to managing your land or a seasoned pro, all are welcome and encouraged to come. WOWnet events are designed for participants to learn from one another. And who doesn’t like a potluck in the summer!
By Paul Oester and Dave Shaw, OSU Extension Service
History A native of Europe, North Africa and the Near East, the green alder sawfly (Monsoma pulveratum) (Hymenoptera: Tenthredinidae) was first found in North America in eastern Canada in the early 1990’s, then in Alaska in 2004. More recently, the green alder sawfly was identified in trap samples in nine Washington counties and one Oregon county (Multnomah). Examination of insect collections at Western Washington University indicates that this insect has probably been present since 1995. It was first detected in the contiguous United States on understory shrubs in Vancouver, Washington in April 2010. We don’t know a lot about this insect but we are beginning to tease out how it operates.
How do you identify this critter? Adults emerge from overwintering sites in the soil or dead wood in the spring and lay eggs on expanding alder leaves. New larvae are very pale green and 2-3 millimeters long. Over time, as the larvae mature, they become a vibrant green (Figure 1). When fully grown larvae are about 15-18 millimeters long, a little more than ½ inch. The adults look like a small wasp, and the females (males have not been recorded in North America or the UK) have a black head and antennae. The middle (thorax) of the adult insect is black, sometimes with some yellow or brownish coloration; their legs reddish brown to black and abdomen black with the margins of the segments white to yellow (Figure 2).
Life history A pre-pupal stage overwinters and pupation occurs in the spring. After the eggs hatch in the spring, larvae feed on alder leaves through the spring and early summer, then typically drop to the ground to pupate in the soil. In Europe and recently observed in Alaska, these insects have been reported to also burrow into rotten wood to pupate (Figure 3). Just another reason not to move firewood interstate.
What about potential impacts? Not much is known about how this insect will fare on red alder in western Oregon and Washington, as well as other species throughout these two states. In Alaska, this species has been feeding primarily on thinleaf alder (Alnus tenuifolia). There is some concern that the feeding of the green alder sawfly, woolly alder sawfly and the striped alder sawfly combined with stem cankers may lead to reduced nitrogen inputs by alders and perhaps alder mortality.
In the Pacific Northwest, several insects feed on alder species so these may compete for host foliage and the additional feeding by the introduced sawfly may have a minor effect. However, the green alder sawfly begins feeding earlier in the spring than other species and could effectively outcompete native species if foliage becomes limited. Another concern is the native parasite/predator complex: will these make the switch to the new invader?
What to do? Efforts by federal and state agencies will include trying to delimit the extent of the sawfly’s distribution and encouraging more monitoring as well as research and education. The US Forest Service point person for this invasive insect is Kathy Sheehan, based in Portland. She is coordinating the effort to determine the distribution of the green alder sawfly in Oregon and Washington. They have already set up trapping sites throughout western Oregon in particular. Eradication is not a feasible option because of the widespread distribution of detections in Washington and Oregon. The fact this invader can potentially pupate in dead wood is another reason to manage the distribution of firewood and keep it local.
Last month I was fortunate to have the chance to tour the Chehalem Ridge Natural Area, a 1,100 acre property acquired last year by Metro near Gaston. It was a fascinating field trip led by Kate Holleran, who is responsible for directing forest management for Metro at Chehalem Ridge.
Kate described Metro’s management objectives, which include restoring oak woodlands through thinning and release from conifer competition; thinning the extensive, dense stands of young Douglas-fir to improve forest health, productivity, and forest structure; maintain the property’s extensive road network; and protect and improve fish and wildlife habitat. Kate hopes that Chehalem Ridge will be managed as a working forest, with revenues from product sales going back into forest management activities.
Chehalem Ridge is currently not open to the public except through guided tours. Luckily, Washington County Small Woodlands Association has arranged for a tour on August 27th. I look forward to seeing what develops at Chehalem Ridge in the coming years. I think it could be a great local resource to demonstrate forest management for multiple objectives.