Blue Mountain Chapter

NEWSLETTER - November 1, 2022

Hi Everybody!

It has been a great year for the Blue Mountain Chapter:

May 20th at the WSU/DNR/WFFA-sponsored Field Day in Walla Walla, we had a superb Range and Field Day hosted by the Beechinor Family. Eleven new families joined WFFA that day and we are very appreciative of all of you.

July 8th a Field Day was sponsored by NRCS Dayton and WFFA at the Best Western in Dayton. A lunch at the Chieftan Restaurant in Dayton preceeded the meeting where WFFA members enjoyed mixing their own “Arnold Palmers”. Andres Castellanos (NRCS) carried the day with two virtually audible change ups for an informative class and field tour.

September 30th the Asotin County Fire District No. 1 Fire Hall was the location for our third gathering and field tour facilitated by Chief Noel Harden. This time, a potluck preceeded the classes.

Presentations were given by:

Andrew Naughton, DNR, andrew.naughton@dnr.wa.gov – Andrew outlined in detail what DNR is willing to financially help with for forest health up to a maximum of $1,600 per acre. Andrew is the DNR Forester for the Blue Mountains.

Andres Castellanos, NRCS, andres.castellanos@usda.gov – Andres explained how the federal cost share program works for us for maintaining forest health. Andres covers the Blue Mountains and has multiple ongoing projects in that area.

Lacy Ausman, Asotin County Conservation District, lacy@asotincs.org – Lacy gave us new and valuable insights on how we can slow our run-off/stream velocities down for fish and erosion control by providing artificial partial “beaver dams” (less the beavers) – who would have thought! We do not have any input from the beavers union at this time! This is an excellent program and is supported by Bonneville Power as an extremely worthwhile endeavor. Her programs qualify for NRCS and DNR funding.

    

Future meetings:

We discussed future meeting days; for those members who are working, Saturday meetings would be better. All three agencies represented affirmed that they were good with that. The timeframe for the next meeting was identified by the members as approximately once per quarter and that the second half of January would be good.

We have selected Saturday, January 14, 2023, as our next meeting date, to fit our speaker’s schedule.

A January meeting topic was requested by Shannon Eggleston for “How the Blue Mountains Were Formed Geologically”. Our guest speaker will be a Senior Geology Professor from Whitman College who Lisa Naylor is acquainted with. It is interesting to note that volcanoes are not the only places where magma came out of the ground as the earth formed.

The Blue Mountain Chapter looks forward to electing Chapter officers on January 14, 2023, at our next meeting. I will call each of you prior to this meeting to find out your personal officer preferences.

Future meetings in May and September/October were identified as well. No summer meetings are planned due to harvest time. Our Chapter has trees, wheat, cattle and hay harvest considerations and a few of us do all four. How good is that!

Field tour:

The September 30th field tour hosted by Jay Holzmiller and Sue was very informative on how Jay achieves forest health by thinning, brush clearing and mechanically pruning. Jay has been on this land for virtually his entire lifetime and is intimately knowledgable of what does and does not work. He is one of the few people I know who will say without any misgivings to a forester, “I don’t agree with that.”

An interesting fact that was mentioned on Jay’s field tour was the concept of “moisture pockets” in the landscape. These are areas where White and Grand Fir often thrive due to the “soil pockets” holding moisture, producing a tree that is 30 inches in diameter and 100 years old instead of 200 years old, as would normally be the case with an average of only 17 inches of precipitation a year. “How do I find the moisture pockets on my land and use them to my harvest advantage?” Jay’s consulting forester, Kevin Bott (Senior Forester) knows the answers and should probably teach a class for us in this next year. Contact is via Kagey Forestry, LLC out of Pomeroy, Washington, at KageyForestry@hughes.net.    

New Member Recruitment – A distinct possibility for recruitment of new members exists by sponsoring a WFFA booth at each of the four county fairs held in the Blue Mountain area (i.e., Asotin, Garfield, Columbia and Walla Walla counties). Each fair would be preceeded by a WFFA mailer invitation (which we will offer to coordinate through the WFFA State Office in Chehalis). “If you own forest land, we can help!” is the mailer catch phrase. Members Lisa Naylor, Dayton, and Shannon Eggleston, Asotin, have offered to assist with Chapter recruitment and we greatly appreciate their offers. Ladies, we will be in touch soon. All members should feel free to recruit your families, friends and neighbors any time it is convenient. Shannon and Lisa have the WFFA brochures and membership forms to distribute.

For more information , contact the President:  bluemt@wafarmforestry.com

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bluemt@wafarmforestry.com

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