The Oregon Women Owning Woodlands Network has a full schedule of events coming up including a couple locally. These programs are a great way to meet other land owners and get tips for your own property, all in a friendly and informal setting. To learn more about WOWnet, visit the Facebook page. To RSVP for any of the events listed below, contact Anne Walton at

  • Trail Building – Saturday, March 10, 9 – noon. 3940 NW Owl Drive, Forest Grove
    Hosts: Joan Moss/Peter Bours with Jerri O’Brien
    See the work done by these landowners in building walking and access trails throughout their property. Jerri O’Brien, Master Woodland Manager, Benton County, will share her training and tools in trail building as well.
  • Truffle/Sustainability Tour, Friday, March 30, 9 am – 1 pm, Left Coast Cellars, 4225 N. Pacific Hwy, Rickreall
    Host: Luke McCollum, Farm manager/winemaker, Left Coast Cellars
    Take a hike with Luke through the beautiful property at Left Coast Cellars and see their sustainable management practices in action, their oak savanna restoration area, plus their unique trials in growing the European Black truffle. Enjoy additional information and a delicious lunch/tasting, with the chance to network with our group in their lovely cafe. We filled this tour in February so are offering it again! Husbands and friends are welcome. Make a day of visiting the beautiful Eola-Amity Hills area. $15/lunch/tasting flight offered.
  • Interpreting a Timber Cruise, Saturday, April 14, 9 am – noon, 30151 NW Timber Rd., Timber
    Hosts: Pam and Peter Hayes with Curt Rogers and Todd Balsiger, of Coastline Forestry Consultants
    We will gather in the cabin at Hyla Woods to learn what a cruise report tells you about your timber. We will tour the property to compare what is in a cruise report to what you see on the ground. This is a follow up field trip to our January class.
  • Managing your Property for Wildlife, Thursday April 26, 9 am – noon, Douglas County location TBA
    Program by Nicole Strong, OSU Extension Service

As a follow up to an article I included in last winter’s newsletter, here’s a story from OSU’s Terra magazine about some research on the effectiveness of beaver relocation projects. In theory, relocating beavers from areas where they are a nuisance to areas where they could contribute to habitat restoration could benefit all involved (including, presumably, the beavers themselves). Do relocated beavers stay put? Do they actually help create fish habitat in their new homes? Read the blog post, or listen to a short podcast.

As some readers are aware, the OSU Forestry Extension program has seen some significant personnel changes in recent months, including the retirement of longtime Linn/Benton County agent Rick Fletcher and the transition of Clackamas County agent Mike Bondi to an administrative leadership role. That, coupled with a declining overall program budget has led Extension administration to reorganize and reallocate existing staff in order to continue serving all Oregonians. Because our budget situation does not allow us to refill vacancies with new hires, many county agents will now be serving larger areas or new territories.

As a result, my new assignment is expanding to include Yamhill County, in addition to my existing area of Columbia and Washington Counties.  Though 1/3 of my effort is to be allocated to each county, I will be maintaining my “home base” in the Columbia County office in St. Helens, and that remains the best place to track me down.

This is a significant change for me, and one that I do not take lightly. Those of you that I work with in Columbia and Washington Counties will no doubt experience some change as well. With a larger area and clientele to serve, I will have to be especially mindful of prioritizing my time. Partnerships and volunteers will be more important than ever.

For those of you interested in the bigger picture, here is a rundown of the changes being implemented in northwest Oregon:

  • Brad Withrow-Robinson is transitioning from Yamhill, Polk and Marion Counties to a new service area of Linn, Benton, and Polk Counties
  • Glenn Ahrens is transferring from Clatsop and Tillamook Counties to Clackamas County, and will also pick up coverage for Marion and Hood River Counties
  • Amy Grotta is increasing her service area to include Columbia, Washington, and Yamhill Counties
  • Jim Reeb is transitioning from a 100% appointment in Lincoln County to a three-county service area including Lincoln, Tillamook, and Clatsop Counties

This entire reorganization process will take place over the next several months, to be concluded by July. There is still a lot of coordination and planning to do to make this happen smoothly as we each settle into our new roles. I’ll certainly be working with Brad to get to know the people and the forests of Yamhill County.

Stay tuned, and thanks for your support!

Amy Grotta

Native turtle conservation is the subject of a presentation on Feb. 8 in Portland

Oregon Wildlife (Oregon Wildlife Heritage Foundation) invites you to learn about Oregon’s native turtles― the western pond and western painted― at a free presentation by Dan Rosenberg of the Oregon Wildlife Institute. The presentation will be held at the Ecotrust Building in Portland’s Pearl District. A reception begins at 6 p.m. The lecture at 6:30 p.m. Admission is free; registration is required. Register online at the Foundation’s website,

Attendees will learn about the state’s two native turtle species and efforts to protect and enhance populations in the Portland area.  The presentation includes information for landowners about voluntary conservation actions that can help native turtles.  Like many of the world’s freshwater turtles, Oregon’s turtle populations are declining due to habitat loss, degradation of nesting areas by invasive plants, competition from invasive turtles, nest predation, and predation on young turtles by invasive aquatic species.

Both the western painted and western pond turtle are listed in the Oregon Conservation Strategy as species in need of help.

For more information or questions, contact the Foundation at (503) 255-6059. The talk will be held at the Billy Frank Jr. Conference Center of the Ecotrust Building in Portland’s Pearl District, 721 NW Ninth Avenue, Portland.

The Natural Resources Conservation Service is accepting applications for the Conservation Stewardship Program now through January 13th. The CSP provides a per-acre payment to small woodland owners that can demonstrate that they are implementing conservation and stewardship practices such as stream restoration, wildlife habitat enhancement, or other measures. Interested landowners should contact their local NRCS office to learn about eligibility and to determine whether CSP is a good fit for them.

The NRCS news release states that payments are typically around $9 to $12 per acre – which makes me wonder whether it is worth the time and paperwork for a small landowner. However, I do know that several woodland owners in our area participated in the CSP program last year. Are you one of them? I invite you to share your experience by commenting on this post.

Join the Oregon Women Owning Woodland Network on Saturday, January 21st for a program on “How to Interpret Your Timber Cruise“. Learn how to understand what a cruise report tells you about your timber, when is the right time to have a cruise done, and options for updating an old one. If you have a cruise report from your own property, bring it along to work with.

Date: Saturday, Jan. 21st, 2012
Time: 9 am to noon (brown bag lunch optional)
Location: Hyla Woods, Timber (owned by the Hayes family) – see flyer for directions

Here's the tree being harvested...

Congratulations to Washington County’s own Dallas and Sharon Boge, Master Woodland Managers from Gales Creek. They grew this year’s State Tree, now on display in the Capitol rotunda in Salem. Thanks to daughter Sue Curtis for supplying the photos. Happy holidays everyone!

The tree on display in the Capitol rotunda

Time to pull out the 2012 calendars! For the 3rd consecutive year, I’ll be teaching a winter shortcourse, Woodland Management 101. If you are  new to owning or managing forested land, this is a great place to start learning about taking care of your property. We’ll cover a little bit of everything, from tree identification to tax issues, over the course of five evenings and one field session. Here’s a flyer with all the details.

Course dates/location: Wednesday evenings, Feb. 1st – 29th, 2012 (Saturday field session Feb. 25); Columbia County Extension office in St. Helens.

Sign up by sending in the registration form or calling the Extension office, (503) 397-3462.