Ken and Bonnie Miller are a fixture of sorts in the small forest owner community of Washington. They’ve been active in the Washington Farm Forestry Association for years, have hosted multiple WSU Extension events, and Ken is an active advocate for small forest owners in state natural resource policy. This passion for private forestry started back in 1989 when they bought their first tree farm, a 30-acre recently clear-cut parcel in Grays Harbor County that they re-planted and managed with the help of their children.
A few years later in 1993 they bought another clear-cut parcel in Thurston County wedged between Millersylvania State Park, Scott Lake, a golf course, and a growing residential neighborhood. This one was 40 acres and came with a house, so they moved in and got to work replanting there too and have been managing both properties ever since.
Years later, in 2017, an opportunity came up to buy the long-abandoned “back nine” of the adjacent golf course. With plenty of planting and stand management experience under his belt, Ken didn’t hesitate. It provided a second access driveway for their house but also a familiar challenge, starting a forest.
An article published in the October 2020 issue of Forest Stewardship Notes tells the full story.