Brad Withrow-Robinson, Forestry & Natural Resources Extension agent for Benton, Linn and Polk Counties.

Master Woodland Manager class of 2014, for Benton, Linn & Polk Counties. Photo Paul Adams.

The Master Woodland Manager Program is an OSU Extension learning and volunteer training program with roots in the mid-Willamette Valley.  Master Woodland Managers (MWMs) are experienced woodland owners who take an advanced training to improve their own skills and knowledge of woodland management.  In return for the training, each MWM commits to volunteer service to their community.  Their service covers a wide range of activities, including  landowner education,  supporting Extension program activities and Community Science projects. 

Over 35 years old and going strong, the MWM program has trained over 500 volunteers across the state.  MWMs collectively contribute thousands of hours of volunteer service each year (5,276 hours reported in 2019, before COVID). 

MWM Roger Workman, demonstrating pruning for a Basic Woodland Managment Shortcourse tour hosted at his property. Photo Brad Withrow-Robinson.

The mid-Valley has one of the stronger MWM programs in the state.  The several dozen Linn,  Benton and Polk County Master Woodland Managers (MWMs) have been a great asset to the local woodland community over the years.  Their many contributions include hosting tours and demonstrations on their properties, making site visits to new landowners, writing news articles, supporting classes and other Extension educational programs, and providing core leadership for landowner organizations such as local chapters of the Oregon Small Woodlands Association. MWM also contribute to other natural resource organizations such as watershed councils and SWCDs as part of their volunteer service.

“Our favorite MWM volunteer activity has been one-on-one (visits) with other forest landowners. Our knowledge from the MWM training has helped us help our family, neighbors, friends and strangers with questions they have about their forests. If we don’t have an answer, we know others who can answer” say Hal & Elin, MWMs in Yamhill County.

Master Woodland Manager, like so many other Extension programs was significantly affected by COVID.  We cancelled or delayed several scheduled trainings around the state.  While many volunteers have remained active in leadership service, it halted many valuable and enjoyable services such as leading tours and making site visits.  We hope that changes soon.

Spring 2022 MWM training scheduled!

After complications and delays, we have now scheduled an MWM training for this area in Spring 2022.  It will be shared by Extension agents Brad Withrow-Robinson and Glenn Ahrens, so it will serve their combined 5 county area of the Willamette Valley.  We are unlikely to have another training in this area for another 5 years or more.

MWM Trainees calculating site productivity. Photo Tiffany Hopkins.

The training will be eight Saturday sessions from April 2 to June 25, 2022. The field-oriented sessions will rotate around several counties, from Clackamas to Benton. 

If you are an experienced landowner, and the MWM program sounds like something you would like to be part of, please contact me and ask for more information about the schedule, expectations and prerequisites, and application process. Brad.w-r@oregonstate.edu

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