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ecologically complex, economically viable, responsibly operated forests

Timber, Mt. Richmond, Manning | Oregon

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Nov25

Who Knows – Where the Wood Goes? And How the Boat Rows?!

Posted on Nov 25 by

Every year since we added a sawmill and dry kiln to our operation fifteen years ago, we have enjoyed watching the list of cool projects made from the forests’ wood grow longer.  Over the years we’ve followed with excitement as our wood was transformed into the body of new boats – but this latest is the most exciting and impressive. Last winter we reported that our new friends at the Wind & Oar Boat School had come to the forest and made off with several slabs of fine oak. Roughly a year later it is terrific to see what they and the students at Merlo Station Community High School’s Boat Geometry Class have done with that wood. Responding to a commission generously made by Tim Boyle, CEO of Columbia Sportswear, the class worked long and hard to create this beautiful Herreshoff designed Columbia Dingy. It is heartening to know that this oak, which died a natural death after a long life, has been given a second life in this fine boat.  We invite the boat builders and its new...

Oct06

House Rental/Caretaker Position – NO LONGER AVAILABLE

Posted on Oct 6 by

House for Rent – The House: The house is a simple, functional, well kept, 900 SF A-frame. It has a bedroom loft above a main floor with living space, kitchen, and bath. Electric stove, oven and hot water heater. Wood stove with back up electric heat. Well water. Solid cell phone coverage. Power from West Oregon Electric Coop. Possible shared use of some barn space. Two, large, fenced garden spaces plus henhouses. Easy access through locked gate to paved road. Located on Timber Road between highway 26 and the community of Timber. The Setting: The house is at 1,000’ within a 160 acre family owned and operated working forest, directly adjacent to the Tillamook State Forest. A headwaters stream of the Nehalem River flows through the property and is home to spawning salmon each winter. As described at www.hylawoods.com, the forest is part of a larger sustainable forestry business. Activities happening within the forest include periodic logging and other forest-keeping activities. It takes 20 min. to drive to Forest Grove and 50 min. to Portland. The Situation: The rent...

Aug09

A Mystery, Dilemma, and a……… Bathroom

Posted on Aug 9 by

The Mystery – (and it is a sad one) – As shared in earlier posts, the Hyla Woods forests are experiencing a much accelerated rate of trees dying.  Dead trees are an important part of a healthy forest, and we sometimes help things along by girdling trees to create snags.  But in the past two years things have changed; once healthy and vibrant trees are dying – old ones, middle aged ones, and young ones.  We’re not alone, and it seems that our mixed aged, mixed species forests are having less problems than the more monocultural forests nearby.  When we ask the knowledgeable “..ologists” for their thoughts on the causes, we are given a one word answer – drought.  Our Hyla Woods team thinks that the situation may be more complex than that; are we certain that the cause is drought?  If it is drought, is there a chance that drought is the trigger, but that the causes might be more complex – soils, seed, disease, insects….? While we can rise above the discovery that more 30 year old...

Jun12

From Bolivia With Love……..

Posted on Jun 12 by

“What’s the big deal about an Olive Sided Flycatcher?” That’s a reasonable question. It was answered in the course of this morning’s third and final annual bird count in our Mt. Richmond Forest. Here are a few of the reasons why we are excited to hear and see them: Inspiring Globe Crossers – Their long annual migrations – from as far south as Bolivia and on up to the arctic – are yet another reminder of how remarkable birds, and all of nature, are. They’re in Trouble – Of the birds that depend on Oregon’s Coast Range forests, they’re one of the four species that are in steepest decline.  Much of this decline is driven by habitat loss.  They’re Here – We’re pleased that the Hyla Woods forests provide reliable safe haven for these remarkable and stressed birds. They’re Increasing – In Our Forests – Reviewing data from our more than 15 years of careful, annual counts, we can see that that we’re successfully bucking the trend; while they decline in our region, they are on the increase in...

Mar06

Learning About Plantations

Posted on Mar 6 by

Visitors to our forests often ask why we work on growing forests that are multiple ages and many species.  “Wouldn’t it be easier and more profitable to just grow single age, single species plantations like nearly all of your neighbors do?”.   While we have many reasons for using the approaches we do – some of them scientifically based and other driven more by gut instinct – the question raised is a good one.  Because of this, it is something that we always work on learning more about.  As people who feel that we have a responsibility to maintain and rebuild the public values of our forests and believe that the long term profitability and health of our forests is more important than the short term, we think that avoiding the risks of the plantation approach makes good, pragmatic business sense.  At the same time, we work to be disciplined in always questioning the assumptions that our approaches are based on   – “what if we’re wrong?”. Which brings us to the value of learning.  We’re prompted to share...

Mar03

A Most Welcome Surprise

Posted on Mar 3 by

I discovered something that was really uplifting and surprising yesterday. At day’s end I traveled back through the Mt. Richmond Forest with a sense of satisfaction – and fatigue – from having planted the last of the 2,200 seedlings that we’ve planted this winter. Pausing by the “Beaver Pond” wetland I reflected on how different it feels to visit the spot since all of the resident beaver mysteriously disappeared from the pond and forest about five years ago.  Though we have hypothesis, the puzzle of the cause remains unsolved.   Reflecting on this sadness I somehow decided to dismount from my “iron pony” and hobble over to where the stream flows out of the pond.  Drawing closer, something caught my eye – “isn’t that a low dam blocking the outlet – with freshly cut, green reeds woven into the sticks?   Could it be…..?” A closer look persuaded me that nothing could have made this – other than a beaver.  Looking further around the wetland my conclusion was verified by finding this…. After five years of lamenting the loss and considering...