Watch WFFA's Virtual Townhalls from Washington's two Commissioner of Public Lands Candidates, Sue Kuehl Pederson and Hilary Franz, Incumbent

This past week I was fortunate to interview the two candidates running for the Commissioner of Public Lands office: the incumbent, Hilary Franz, and a Republican challenger, Sue Kuehl Pederson. The interview was conducted on our virtual platform with an audience of WFFA members. The discussion was directed specifically towards small forest landowner issues and was based on the nearly 50 questions submitted by members. Themes included fire, forest health, regulations, incentives, conversion, legislative priorities, partnerships, and community engagement. We couldn’t reach on all of the questions but managed to touch on all themes with both candidates for a robust discussion of their perspectives, plans, and goals should they be elected for the position. I think this was a fabulous way to assess both candidates. For those that weren’t able to attend our townhalls the recordings are now live. I do hope you avail yourself of the opportunity to learn more about the candidates running for this critically important statewide position and mail in your ballot by November 3.

Click HERE to view Sue Kuehl Pederson's townhall video.

Click HERE to view Hilary Franz's townhall video.

Elaine Oneil, PhD

Executive Director, Washington Farm Forestry Association

"True Bear" Video from Ken Bevis

A few weeks ago, all traffic was stopped on the Golden Gate Bridge at the Nourse Tree Farm in north Snohomish County, so that Ken Bevis could sit on the guardrail and sing a song he wrote titled "True Bear". Ken is DNR’s stewardship wildlife biologist and a talented songwriter and artist. Enjoy this music video "True Bear" from Ken.

Credits: Recorded live on the Golden Gate Bridge at Nourse Tree Farm in north Snohomish County, WA; Music, lyrics and performance by Ken Bevis; Video recording by Brendan White and Dave New; Bear video clips and photos from wildlife cameras at Nourse Tree Farm; Video editing by Dave New

2020 Washington State Tree Farmer of the Year Named

The Elmore-Vance Tree Farm, managed by Patty Vance, was recently named 2020 Washington State Tree Farmer of the Year by the Washington Tree Farm Program.  Because the usual Awards Luncheon could not be held, an online presentation was made, featuring videos of them and of the two other nominees, the Five Point Lodge Tree Farm, managed by Mike Blais, and the Pomeroy Tree Farm, managed by Bob Brink and family.  All three nominees are Washington Farm Forestry Association members and have properties worthy of an award.

The Elmore-Vance Tree Farm is located in eastern Lewis County, surrounded by U.S. Forest Service land.  This video shows how Patty has managed the land that was purchased by her father and how she is involving younger members of her family so that it will be in the family for generations to come.  For more information, read the press release and description of the tree farm.

The Five Point Lodge Tree Farm is located in Snohomish County and began in 1947 when a group joined together to obtain 320 acres. It is jointly owned by 6 families, with 290 acres in the tree farm.

Pomeroy Tree Farm in Clark County has been in the same family since 1910 and the 6th generation now lives on the property.  In addition to growing trees, it also is a working farm where thousands of children have come to learn.