Welcome to the South Coast Field and Forest Newsletter

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The South Coast Field and Forest newsletter is brought to you by Oregon State University Extension and provides articles of interest to the agriculture, forestry and natural resources community. Find recent articles below and in the menu to the right. Find out about upcoming workshops and events and new publications by navigating to the top menu. To subscribe to the South Coast Field and Forest newsletter select the following link and provide your name, email, include the following subject line South Coast Field and Forest Newsletter (our office manager will add your information to our mailing list): Click here

Sudden Oak Death in Port Orford

If you are interested in staying up-to-date on the Sudden Oak Death infestation in Port Orford, bookmark this dedicate landing page in your browser: https://blogs.oregonstate.edu/suddenoakdeathworkshops/

Are you on Facebook? Follow the OSU Extension Forestry and Natural Resource page for Coos and Curry Counties (click on the Facebook logo to visit page). We will be posting topics of interest in regards to Sudden Oak Death.

Oregon Forest Industry Directory

The Oregon Forest Industry Directory (www.orforestdirectory.com) helps to connect woodland owners, service providers, wood products manufacturers, industry consultants and anyone else interested in the region’s forest industry. The directory receives over thousands of visitors each month for uses that include: 

  • Woodland owners are finding:
    • Log buyers for large and small diameter logs, ‘nontraditional’ species like western hardwoods and western juniper, and buyers’ preferred diameters and lengths
    • Niche markets by locating buyers of logs for log homes, utility poles, ‘character logs’ for furniture, and buyers for non-timber forest products  
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Digital Mapping Tools: Part 3, Transferring data between apps and a desktop program

By Norma Kline, OSU Extension Forester for Coos and Curry Counties and Alicia Christiansen, OSU Extension Forester for Douglas County

Figure 1. Dropped pin on spring location

Trade-name products and services are mentioned as illustrations only. This does not mean that the Oregon State University Extension Service either endorses these products and services or intends to discriminate against products and services not mentioned.

This is the third article in our written series detailing how to get the most out of readily available mapping apps. The first article covered how to get the most out of your basic mapping app that comes preloaded on your smart device (https://extension.oregonstate.edu/forests/health-managment/digital-mapping-tools-part-1-basics). In the second article, we covered the process of printing a topographic map (https://extension.oregonstate.edu/forests/health-managment/digital-mapping-tools-part-2-printing-topographic-map). Remember, it’s always a good idea to carry a paper map as a back up to your digital devices! In this article we will follow a fictional landowner as she learns how to export features (points, lines, polygons) from a smart phone or tablet to a mapping program on her computer and vice versa. We also introduce the CalTopo mapping program which has a number of useful functions, including viewing elevation profile data and exporting base maps for use in mapping apps.

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Things to consider when planning a nature trail on your property

By Alicia Christiansen, OSU Extension Forestry & Natural Resources, Douglas County

Nature trails are a popular feature across the Oregon landscape. People of all walks of life escape to them for solitude, wildlife viewing, exercise, and to spend time with friends and family. As a landowner, you have the opportunity to create a trail (or many!) in your very own backyard. But where do you start?

Master Naturalists walk on a trail to view wildlife. Stephen Ward © 2018 Oregon State University 

Landowners of all acreages can successfully construct a nature trail on their property, as many design and maintenance features are the same regardless of property size. With careful planning and construction, nature trails can have a minimum impact on the surrounding environment, protecting important features such as wildlife, plants, soil, and waterways. A well-designed trail can even aid in other land management needs, such as access to remote property corners and fire breaks. They are also a great opportunity to teach children, friends, and adults alike about wildlife, forestry, and natural resources.

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Sudden Oak Death Update (June 2021)

You may have seen the press release regarding the newly discovered Sudden Oak Death (SOD) infestation along Hwy 101 in Port Orford. This detection is over 20 miles north of the last known detection in Curry County and is a very concerning development. Samples were analyzed to determine the strain of Sudden Oak Death and it was determined to be NA2. This is a strain of SOD that has never before been found in forests in North America. SOD is caused by the invasive pathogen Phytophthora ramorum and is not native to North America.

SOD has caused widespread mortality of tanoak in California and Oregon’s southern Curry County. For more general background information, see Sudden Oak Death, Prevention, Recognitions and Restoration (Note: the maps in the publication do not include the Port Orford detection).

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Farm and Ranch Stress

Agriculture is an occupation full of potential stressors like weather, changing economic markets, animal health and machinery breakdowns. When these start to compound, many farmers experience excessive amounts of stress, making it hard to remain positive and move forward through the hard times.

Due in part to the stresses that are faced, agricultural workers have high rates of suicide. The loss of a spouse, parent, sibling, child or friend can be avoided. If you or someone you know is experiencing excessive stress or thoughts of suicide, please reach out to a confidential crisis support line.

I believe wholeheartedly that it’s important for all of us to be able to recognize the signs of extreme stress – that’s why I jumped in to start this program in Oregon. I personally know individuals who were very thankful that someone cared enough about them to 1) notice that something wasn’t right, 2) ask them about it, and 3) help them get help. We’re offering some special trainings that are focused on giving you the tools you need to do the same thing: recognize signs that someone might be too stressed and struggling, talk to them about it, and assist them in getting the help they need.

These trainings are called Question, Persuade, and Refer, or QPR trainings. They’re kind of like CPR, but instead of being for emergency medical intervention, QPR is designed for emergency mental health intervention. These QPR trainings that we’re offering are farmer-centric; they are full of statistics and information about the agricultural community. I would highly encourage anyone who farms or ranches, or works with farmers and ranchers, to take this course. It’s only 90 minutes of your life, but it will provide you with the tools that could help you help someone else who’s considering suicide.

I should point out that none of us who are providing this training are mental health professionals; part of the toolkit is helping you find local resources that you can refer someone to.

Here’s a link to the QPR Trainings. We’re offering 4 more trainings, but each training is limited to 20 people, and spots are filling up fairly quickly. We’ll offer more if needed. The training dates are:

March 16, 9:00 – 10:30am
April 6, 12:00 – 1:30pm
April 29, 6:00 – 7:30pm
June 3, 4:00 – 5:30pm

Digital Mapping Tools: Part 2, Printing a Topographic Map

By Norma Kline, OSU Extension Forester for Coos and Curry Counties and Alicia Christiansen, OSU Extension Forester for Douglas County

In our first article of this series (available here) we gave an introduction to a few digital mapping applications (map apps). We will continue our discussion of digital map resources and applications in future articles, but we first want to give a shout out to the value of paper maps and how you can print out a topographic map from a digital source.

Many woodland owners, hikers, and forest professionals are familiar with the United States Geological Survey (USGS) topographic maps (also referred to as 7.5 minute quadrangles, or, “quads”) and use them to navigate their woodlands, hiking trails, or work locations. Either rolled up and kept in bin in the corner for future reference, tacked to the wall, or carefully folded up and carried in your backpack, USGS maps were once the standard navigational tool. This is due to their high quality of mapping and standardized symbols, which represent a wide variety of landscape features including hydrology, vegetation, geologic features, and human-made structures. These symbols and contour lines can give you an indication of the lay of the land and can also be used to estimate slope.

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A few interesting resources and interesting websites

The National Integrated Drought Information System has launched a redesigned U.S. Drought Portal (www.drought.gov). The portal has some new features:

  • Drought conditions down to the city and county level where you can see current conditions, key indicators of drought, outlooks and forecasts, and historical drought conditions. 
  • Historical data and maps, including U.S. Drought Monitor data going back 20 years, standardized precipitation index (SPI) data going back 125 years, and paleoclimate data (e.g., from tree-ring analysis) going back 2,000 years.

The Oregon Wildlife Conservation iNaturalist Project allows you to share your wildlife observation data directly with biologists. Even if you can’t identify what species you are looking at, odds are that someone in the iNaturalist community can. Participation in this project helps to enhance our understanding of wildlife in our state, and your data can help improve wildlife conservation efforts in Oregon. Oregon Wildlife Conservation iNaturalist Project

Free-to use Timberaid website. Wood science students at OSU developed a free-to-use website https://www.timberaid.com/ to help with your woodworking projects. Tools include calculators for wood shrinkage, moisture content, specific gravity and density.

Extension foresters note trend in redwood plantings, plan needs assessment.

Article by Kym Pokorny, Public Service Communications Specialist. Story Source: Alicia Christiansen, Forestry & Natural Resources

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The majestic redwood tree – iconic to California’s northern coast – is becoming more prevalent in Oregon. “We have landowners in western Oregon growing redwood trees for one reason or another,” said Alicia Christiansen, Oregon State University Extension Service forestry specialist. “There’s everything from something that’s cool in the yard to small woodland owners who plant several acres.”

Redwood trees like this one in Curry County are being planted more frequently in western Oregon.
Photo by Norma Kline

Christiansen and her colleagues started to notice a possible trend and decided it was time to do a needs assessment in order to identify who is planting redwoods and why. She, along with OSU Extension forestry specialists Dan Stark, Norma Kline, Dave Shaw, Lauren Grand, Glenn Ahrens, Steve Fitzgerald and Jon Souder, formed a Growing Redwoods Group and plan a survey in February.

Once they collect information, the foresters will determine where to put energy as they work with landowners. Christiansen stressed that the group is responding to the needs of a growing number of Oregonians interested in redwoods, not promoting the planting of this species outside its native range in Oregon.

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Defensible Space and Fire Preparedness

Many landowners are motivated right now to improve and maintain the defensible space around their homes. Fall and winter are great seasons to accomplish some of this work. OSU Extension has resources to help you get started. Start by reviewing The Home Ignition Zone: Protecting Your Property from Wildfire, EM9247. Use this publication to review the defensible space around your home. Print out the worksheet located at the end of the publication, grab a pencil and assess the condition of your property, jot down the areas that need improvement in the follow-up actions list. Use this list to help you prioritize your tasks. Consider taking some before and after photos to help you see how much you accomplished. https://catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/sites/catalog/files/project/pdf/em9247.pdf

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