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Linn County Small Woodlands Association

A Key Part of Oregon’s Landscape

Linn County Small Woodlands Association

A Key Part of Oregon’s Landscape

LCSWA logo

Linn County Small Woodlands Association

A Key Part of Oregon’s Landscape

LCSWA logo

Linn County Small Woodlands Association

A Key Part of Oregon’s Landscape

  • Reports From Past Activities Held During 2018
    • October Activity Report - Woodlands Night Includes Bat Chat

        By Lee Peterman
        Linn County SWA president

        The Linn Chapter of OSWA hosted a Woodlands Workshop Night Oct. 11 at the OSU Extension office in Tangent. Attendance was good, with nearly 20 individuals and represented members from both Linn and Benton chapters of OSWA.

        There were four guest speakers and a wide variety of topics covered.

        Heather Tritt is from the USDA / Farm Service Agency. She is also the executive director for Linn County FSA. Tritt gave a brief, but information-packed presentation on the FSA "Disaster Assistance" programs available to small woodlands owners, such as after the ice storms of 2015 - 2016. Her focus was simple: if your property or trees were affected by a natural disaster, such as an ice storm, contact your local FSA office to begin a claim.

        Ray Dodd, brought his a specialist knowledge on bats with ODFW. Ray had a great slide-show with numerous photos of the local Oregon bats. He detailed how the ODFW is learning about bat population density of species by using acoustic monitoring stations set up at various points around the state. These amazing creatures are the only flying mammal and use echo-location to find prey. They are opportunistic hunters, yet a single bat can literally eat thousands of mosquitos every night, he noted. There was some sad news which he imparted regarding deaths from wind-turbines located in migration routes and a virulent disease accidentally imported from Europe called "White-nose syndrome.” The disease — while not yet in Oregon, has devastated eastern bat populations. It is coming this way, he said, and there is not much we can do about it except to provide good habitat so the bats stand a better chance of survival.

        OSU doctoral candidate from the School of Forestry; Sonia Bruck, spoke about on agroforestry and how some basic principles can be utilized to expand productivity as well as possible income in private woodlands in the Willamette Valley. Some of the points she made were on row-cropping; as in rows of hazel nuts or corn or strawberries between rows of just-planted seedling trees, to diversify land use. Another option, she said, is “silva-pasturing" which is simply letting cattle or other livestock graze the spaces under more mature trees, thereby keeping down “ladder-fuels.” She also gave a detailed account of some of her research on tree-farms in North Carolina and eastern Oregon, comparing how some plans made money for the land owners, and some did not do quite as well, but did further knowledge in the field and generated greater interest in the concepts.

        Sweet Home ODF stewardship forester Steve Kendall was timely after this past, scorching hot summer: “Fire Prevention and Resistance for Small Woodland Owners.” Kendall had two, great information-packed handouts; the first was a list of points small woodland owners should know regarding fire-season — and types of ignition for wildfires, both controllable sources — unattended or careless slash burning or target-shooting as well as uncontrollable sources like thoughtless neighbors or lightning. The second handout contained valuable contact information, for the Linn County Burn Line (541) 451-1904 -- necessary to use “before you burn,” as well as the ODF-Sweet Home Unit (541) 367-6108 to obtain information on fire conditions and safety tips for preventing wildfires in your woodland.

        Thanks to Brad Withrow-Robinson for starting the ball rolling on this Woodland Workshop and for getting the word out in “The Compass.” Thanks as well to Jody Einerson for her assistance in providing contact information for guest speakers. Finally, an especially hearty thank you to Shirley Jolliff and Nancy Mauter, both of whom again selflessly gave their time and baking talents to provide delightful, delectable biscotti, apple tarts and chocolate chip cookies for the refreshment table. Without them, the evening would have been informative, but not nearly as tasty...

    • September Activity Report - Weld Family Tree Farm Tour

        Weld Family Linn County Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year 2018

        By Jim Merzenich
        Past president

        Sherman and Leslie Weld were selected as Linn County’s tree farmers of the year for 2018. The Weld family tree farm consists of 140 acres overlooking the Calapooia river valley near Holley. The property was purchased 50 years ago by Lester and Faye Weld, Sherman’s parents. About 8 acres of the site was a landfill for the family’s Sweet Home Sanitation business. Today that acreage is a 25-year-old Douglas fir plantation. The acreage also includes former grazing and orchard land. In the past twenty-five years much of this land has been cleared, sprayed, ripped to a 36 inch depth and planted in Douglas-fir. These stands are now being commercially thinned.

        The tour of the Weld Family tree farm was held on Saturday Sep 22nd beginning at 10 am. Over seventy guests in addition to many members of the Weld family participated. A tractor drawn wagon was provided to transport guests to the five tour stops but many people chose to walk and enjoy the views. As introductions were being made a brief, but intense, rain shower failed to dampen their spirits. The skies soon cleared and the rest of the day was pleasant and warm.

        Sherm Weld (center) describing young stand

        At the first stop we viewed a five acre stand that was planted on ripped pasture ground just 4.5 years ago. This stand occurs on a well-watered north-facing slope. Virtually all of the seedlings survived and are now growing well with long annual leaders. This stand was planted at relatively dense 8’ X 8’ spacing and options for pruning to reduce defect (e.g. removing double tops) and pre-commercial thinning were discussed.

        harvester operation

        We next moved up the hill to view an active “cut-to-length” thinning operation in a 20 year old stand. The trees in this stand were planted at a 10’ x 10’ spacing (435 trees/acre) and had been previously pruned but not thinned. We watched the harvester fall, limb, and buck the trees and convert them into small saw, chip-and-saw, and pulp logs. These logs are then laid in piles perpendicular to the thinning corridor. A Forwarder then picks up the logs and moves them out of the thinning unit where they are piled. The whole process takes less than a minute per tree and more than half of the trees were being removed from the stand. We thank Melcher Logging for doing the demonstration and Chris Melcher for explaining how the thinning system and computerized cutting head operates.

        Chris melcher explaining operation

        After viewing another stand ready to be thinned, and a third stand that had just been thinned, we viewed the log deck. Milt Moran, of Cascade Timber Consulting explained how the saw, chip-and-saw, and pulp logs were marketed and sold to different mills. The landowner, Sherm Weld, thanked Cascade Timber Consulting and Melcher logging for their assistance in managing this tree farm.

        We ended the tour with a picnic lunch hosted by the Weld family. The Weld Family Tree Farm will represent Linn County in a bid to be named 2018 statewide tree farmer of the year. Winners of that competition will be announced Oct. 27 at the Oregon Tree Farm System annual meeting at the Oregon Garden in Silverton.

  • Reports From Past Activities Held During 2017
    • February Activity Report - Seedling Sale


      Linn County Small Woodland Seedling Sale

      Seedling Species for Sale The 22nd annual Linn Chapter seedling sale was a two-day event. Friday was the day to pick up seedlings from the nurseries, prepare tables in the Santiam Building at the Linn County Fairgrounds in Albany, fill the 130 pre-orders and finally set up for the public for Saturday. Saturday was the day for customers to pick up their pre-orders and visit the Good from the Woods displays. Also, there were about 100 walk in customers to purchase seedlings.

      All of this ran very smoothly thanks to the help of volunteers from the Linn Small Woodlands Chapter, 4-H members and their parents and our college scholarship recipient. This year Bonnie and Lance Marshall chaired the seedling committee for the first time and they did a fantastic job of ordering the seedlings, getting out publicity, thanks to Katie Kohl, processing the pre-orders from our customers and answering phone call and e-mail questions. Don and Carol Cree picked up the seedlings from the Brooks Tree Farm Nursery with a little help from Lance Marshall. Jack Lowers picked up the seedlings from Heritage Nursery and Bob and Mary Brendle picked up the coast redwood seedlings from Plum Creek Nursery.

      Jim Cota obtained the grand fir and incense-cedar seedlings along with supplying the sawdust needed to wrap the pre-orders. Jim Merzenich donated a box of Valley ponderosa pine. Rod and Ann Bardell donated potted seedlings they started from seeds. Christy Tye took over Fay Sallee’s job at the Friday and Saturday events arranging jobs for all the volunteers and making sure none of them got overworked and all had fun. Fay still prepared all the pictures and plant descriptions for use at the sale.

      Working at the fairgrounds on Friday, we had Kyle Rankin taking the lead in helping set up the tables and arranging the area for processing the pre-orders. Kyle has helped us every year since he was a little boy working with his grandparents Lon and Laura Rankin. Bill Bowling used his experience from prior years to arrange the pre-order pick up area making it very efficient to find all the orders. He had great help from Katie and Steve Kohl along with two 4-H members.

      Once we started filling the pre-orders, we needed folks to stand behind each species bag of seedlings to carefully count out seedlings for the orders. We also needed people like Ken Crouse to go around to the different tables and gather the seedling orders and take them to the people doing the wrapping of the orders. Dan Thackaberry took the lead in making sure the hardwood seedlings and sword ferns were correct. Nancy and Larry Mauter were key players in the conifer area. Mike Barsotti helped the wrappers by making sure they did not run out of work to do by delivering orders to their wrapping table.

      The people doing the wrapping do a very important job. They must make sure the counts fit the orders, the roots are kept moist and carefully wrapped in newspaper and sawdust and then sealed in plastic bags. They also have to make sure every order is complete and no seedling species are missing. Wrappers included Kyle, Tyrell and Wesley Rankin, Jack Lowers, Jim Cota, Bonnie Marshall, Shirley Jolliff and Lee Peterman along with several 4-H members and parents. We even had one customer, Cory Koos, who helps us each year to get the orders ready.

      Packing the seedlings

      Saturday we opened the doors at 8:00 am for our customers. There was a steady stream of people coming to pick up their pre-orders. The walk in customers that had not pre-ordered enjoyed buying the seedlings that were left and visiting the Goods from the Woods booths. Many of the workers from Friday came back to help on Saturday. Help on Saturday included Mikaela Gozney, our college scholarship student. Additional Linn Chapter volunteers helping on Saturday included Jonathan Christie, Shirley and Joe Holmberg, Bud Baumgartner, Kathy Otis, Carol Cree, Brock Cota, Brian Rabe and his son Brogan. In addition, ten 4-H families helped with the Saturday event.

      The help needed to achieve a successful seedling sale consisted of over 50 people each day. The sale would not be possible without the number of Linn Small Woodland Chapter members and 4-H families that volunteer. The financial results were great and we will be able to continue to fund our youth scholarship activities for another year.

      Thank you to all who helped make this possible.

      Report by: Shem Sallee

    • August Activity Report - August 12th Picnic / Mid-August Linn Forest Protective Association Law Enforcement Committee
      • August 12, 2017: Linn County Small Woodlands Picnic

        August 12

        On a perfect summer day in August, a group of small woodland owners and friends gathered at Udell’s Happy Valley Tree Farm near Lebanon. The purpose was to meet new and old friends, learn a little about tree farming and have a great meal. All these objectives were met.

        We started at 9:00 am with coffee, tea, juice and pastries. Following introductions and a brief description of the property, we took a pickup tour to portions of the property. This included a look at the results of a couple of small clear cut areas. We discussed the procedure of site preparation and planting. One area was treated in the fall following harvest and planted that winter. The other area was left untreated for a year to allow the vegetation to sprout and was then treated and planted the following year. The area that was planted in the first year following harvest shows the results of an extra year of growth while the area treated after letting vegetation grow for a year does not show better vegetation control. As a result, we no longer delay site preparation and planting. Another point of interest here is that a portion of the area is quite wet. The harvested Douglas-fir trees were not doing well in the wet area. We decided to plant Willamette Valley ponderosa pine in this wet area. The pine is doing quite well and the Douglas-fir planted outside the wet area is also doing great.

        At our next stop, we saw a 5-acre area that was clear cut and planted about 11 years ago. These trees are doing very well and will soon need to be considered for a pre-commercial thinning. At this location, we saw two trees that had lightning strikes on June 18, 2016. The strikes were about 100-yards apart. The smaller of the two trees is now dead while the larger tree continues to thrive.

        Our final stop on the tour was at a pond that Bert and Betty Udell constructed when they first purchased the property in 1964. The pond is doing quite well and was a thing of beauty with the water lilies in full bloom. A fish or two even surfaced for the group.

        A potluck lunch with grilled hamburgers and hot dogs followed the tour. As usual, the Linn County Small Woodland cooks created a meal to die for. Fay Sallee brought some exhibits that 4-H youth had put together showing insects found in the forest. There was also an exhibit showing different facts about Oregon. It is set up as a quiz with an answer sheet provided.

        I want to thank several people who were a great help in making this event successful. Nancy Mauter put up, and took down, all the tour signs. Jim Cota, who was not able to attend, donated the hamburger from a 4-H auction beef he purchased. Brad and Christy Tye grilled the meat and arranged the food for serving. Debbie and Bill Bowling made a special trip to get a backup grill. Lee and Shirley Peterman brought extra bottles of water. Mike Barsotti took lots of photographs to document the fun. Brad Withrow-Robinson got out information about the event through his e-mails and website. He also attended the event and was available for answering many questions.

        Reported by: Sherm Sallee
      • August - Linn Forest Protective Association Law Enforcement Committee


        NL 1017 Linn Forest Protective Association Law Enforcement Committee

        Mid-August is the time frame for the annual Linn Forest Protective Association (LFPA) Law Enforcement Committee meeting. It precedes the hunting season and is a time for forestland owners to learn about problems law enforcement officials are finding in the timberlands as well as to discuss the availability of their lands for public hunting with local law enforcement (State Police and Sheriff’s Office).

        This year’s meeting also included an update to the status for preparation for the upcoming solar eclipse event. By the time you read this article, you will know the outcome of the event on the forestland in Linn County and throughout the state. Hopefully it will be a non-event as far as forest fires are concerned. As of now, the forestlands are extremely dry. As a result, almost all landowners are discouraging visitors until a significant rain event occurs. Gates are locked and signs are posted to discourage camping and the associated campfires.

        This committee meeting is a great way for forestland owners to communicate with the officers patrolling our properties. We find out from them what problems they are seeing on various land ownerships and we, in turn, can pass along our concerns. If you have any questions about this committee or any of the other functions of LFPA, you can contact me at

        by: Sherm Sallee
    • October Activity Report - Watershed Council / Diverse Forest
      • October 27th: What Your Watershed Council Can Do For You

        October 27th, 2017

        What Your Watershed Council Can Do For You

        Eric Andersen

        Council Coordinator of the South Santiam Watershed Council

        On the evening of October 27th the OSU Extension in Tangent along with the Linn Chapter; hosted Eric Andersen, Council Coordinator of the South Santiam Watershed Council, who gave a talk on the topic of watershed councils and some of the programs they can offer small woodlands owners. It was also an attempt to tie-in to and drum-up interest in a woodland tour occurring ten days later at "Bird-Haven" a private woodland in North Linn County, on the North Santiam River as an example of what restoration projects a watershed council can assist in. There were approximately a dozen attendees, including members of other watershed councils, as well as the Executive Director of the Calapooia Watershed Council. Eric's presentation included a slide-show with photographs of past and on-going projects being performed through the South Santiam Council on Thomas Creek, near Scio; as well as those on tributaries of both McDowell Creek, near Lebanon and Moose Creek, out of Sweet Home.

        Of the many points Eric discussed, one of the most urgent was that of riparian repair/restoration and recovery for private landowners and how with assistance from the watershed council, much degradation from erosion can be slowed and eventually repaired along stream banks and culverts, by use of structures within the stream as well as replanting banks with fast-growing willow and other moisture-loving flora.

        Eric also placed emphasis on the fact that a local watershed council is not a government agency, although for some projects there are state and federal assistance programs available, but rather that what watershed councils do is show and guide landowners/managers to those programs and that help can be made available to restore streams and waterways to their former healthy courses. A sub-topic discussed in riparian subjects was that of fish habitat restoration, especially of the salmonids and steelhead streams, but also the less 'sexy' , yet no less important species, such as the endangered native Oregon Chub and how designs and implementation can be made to repair and enhance the streams for fish habitat.

        Eric also made the case for folks who might be curious to attend meetings of the boards of their local watershed councils; both to learn more about what they do, as well as what you might be able do for them -- like joining and adding your voice and experience to future projects. For more information, or to attend a meeting of your local watershed council, simply determine the nearest tributary or river to your woodlands and look online for contact information. In the Northern part of Linn County, (Southern part of Marion County) contact Rebecca McCoun; Council Coordinator of the North Santiam Watershed Council. For the central part of Linn County, contact Eric Andersen; Council Coordinator of the South Santiam Watershed Council and for the Southern part of Linn County, contact Bessie Joyce; Executive Director of the Calapooia Watershed Council.

        A thank-you is extended to the OSU Extension Office in Tangent for hosting. Hearty thanks as well to Shirley Jolliff, who went well "Above and Beyond" in creating wonderful baked goodies, appreciated and enjoyed by all in attendance and thanks to Nancy Mauter with assisting in set-up and clean-up after the event.

        (In the interest of full disclosure -- the author of this article is both a board member of the Linn County Small Woodlands as well as the South Santiam Watershed Council and in that capacity has knowledge of current and future projects and finds that that sitting on two distinctly different, yet necessary boards lends a unique view on how watersheds and woodlands interact and how important it is to invite more folks to become involved in either, or both.)

        by: Leland (Lee) Peterman
        Vice Pres. Linn County Small Woodlands Assoc.
        Board Member-at-Large, South Santiam Watershed Council
      • October 19th: Growing A Diverse Forest

        October 19th 2017

        Growing A Diverse Forest

        Brad Withrow-Robinson

        OSU Extension Forestry & Natural Resources Extension

        It was a dark and stormy night on October 19th, as Brad Withrow-Robinson; OSU Extension Forestry & Natural Resources Extension Agent gave a woodland talk about ways to enhance and diversify woodland property for wildlife habitat and aesthetic values. So dark and stormy in fact, that only a few brave and hardy souls were in attendance to gain knowledge on aspects and methods to diversify private woodlands through a slide presentation and lively Q&A session of the "Cookie-Theory" of forest diversity.

        What, the reader may ask, is the "Cookie-Theory" of forest diversity? During the talk, Brad W-R postulated that enhancing diversity in private woodlands is akin to observing cookies; in that a stand of trees might be of a homogenous species -- such as a recently replanted-after-harvest stand of Douglas-fir and that in this theme, would be equated to a plain, serviceable oatmeal cookie. Yet, if a landowner were to replant or add a different species, say Ponderosa Pine, well then, that could still equate to an oatmeal cookie, but now with raisins! Simultaneously adding diversity and interest, not to mention potential future value to the stand.

        Expanding on the theme, woodlands owners should not be bound to the idea that forest diversity is only to be thought of in terms of species; Douglas-fir, Grand Fir, Ponderosa Pine, but also in layers, or put another way, in both a horizontal as well as a vertical component. To illustrate further the cookie theory, a landowner should consider layers of the forest like an Oreo cookie, different heights of trees and shrubs in varying ages, or levels, to provide for a wildlife habitat component as well as an eye-pleasing variety of colors and shapes. Aesthetics are as important for some landowners as production of future timber harvests and laser-straight rows of even aged trees are really rather boring!

        During his talk, Brad also brought up that diversity is usually brought about by disturbances -- such as harvesting, fire, snow or ice damage or insect infestations and these are not necessarily bad things; he also emphasized (and was backed up by certain attendees) the point that not every square foot of ground should have a tree planted on it; heresy to some and shocking to most in the small woodlands community, yet learned the hard way through trial and error as well as considerable effort, not to mention cost, that some ground just won't grow a tree ! Forest landowners should consider leaving space for meadows and pollinators as well as shrubs and grasses -- take time for the flowers... and birds. Lastly, that not every green and growing thing should be doused with herbicides, good stewards and managers should think it through and to plant wisely after observing the area in question, so as to save time, effort and especially money!

        To close his presentation, Brad summed up the slide-show with these thoughts: Forest-land stewards should consider: Enhancing diversity by preserving what is already there. Enriching the site for what's missing; Giving space to meadows for wildlife habitat and do Battle with invasives ! He also reminded those present that in most cases with new woodlands owners or those woodlands left alone out of benign neglect, that to encourage and enhance diversity, good stewards should learn and memorize his mantra: "Thin early, thin often"! And think of cookies...

        Thanks to the OSU Extension in Tangent for hosting the presentation.

        by: Leland (Lee) Peterman
        Vice Pres. Linn County Chapter Small Woodlands Assoc.

        (Disclaimer: No baked goods were harmed, or even present, to be eaten by attendees, or used as examples; save pictures thereof projected on the wall during the slide-show. )


Previous Years

Activities held during 2016

Prior to 2016 - We have no or very little activity information. If you have an electronic copy of prior years activities, please send an email to so we can arrange to get a copy for the website. Thank You!