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ecologically complex, economically viable, responsibly operated forests

Timber, Mt. Richmond, Manning | Oregon


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The Value of Heat

Posted on Aug 30 by

Some like it hot – but the Hyla Woods team does not.  Though we are champion “heat wimps”, our work at our mill and kiln teaches us the value of heat.  This has been one of our best summers yet for using our solar kiln to dry green (wet!) lumber into high quality products.  Using less than a dollar a day of electricity to run the fans that circulate the hot air, the kiln captures the sun’s energy and puts it to work in drying the lumber.  As the photo shows, the kiln is running full bore.  On the far left is thick, live edged, oak lumber air drying for a local furniture company.  Beside it, having just completed the drying cycle, is 3,500 board feet of premium fir.  The doors are being slide shut on 3,500 board feet of oak headed toward becoming our next batch of end grained cutting boards in time for the holidays.  And on the far right fir planking is being air dried before being used for the rebuilding of a deck.  At the mill and kiln...


The 230 Year Challenge – Who’s In?

Posted on Aug 6 by

In the forests, every year and season brings some new adventure. A low point of 2014 was that the largest oak in our Mt. Richmond Forest died.  We’re not sure of the cause – perhaps just old age? The discovery of this winter was that once the old, dead monster tree was cut and came thundering to the forest floor, we counted the rings and discovered that the tree held 230 years of life. This means that the acorn sprouted in roughly 1786, and was a 20 foot sapling at the time when Lewis and Clark came over the hill. After much effort, the tree has been felled, bucked, yarded, loaded on the tree taxi and transported up to the hilltop mill – where we are thinking through how to mill the 44″ in diameter butt log into lumber. The Challenge  – If the forest can spend 230 years growing such a magnificent tree, shouldn’t some one of us be able to use its wood to make an equally magnificent piece of furniture that will still be going strong...


Update on Herbicide Trespass Incident

Posted on Jul 28 by

For those interested in this incident and issue, here is a quick update. The Oregon Department of Agriculture completed their investigation and shared their report.  As we expected, they found no evidence of a violation of Oregon law.  OPB provided this coverage:  http://www.opb.org/news/article/investigators-find-no-evidence-of-chemical-drift/ The Department of Forestry is completing their own investigation of the incident. We have assembled this response to the ODA report: Hyla Woods Response to Oregon Department of Agriculture’s Report on Herbicide Spray Incident – July 28, 2016: We are appreciative that the ODA staff completed the investigation in a timely way and apparently in accordance with current state law and agency protocols. We are also grateful that all of the parties involved were cooperative and ready to assist the investigation, including Dept. of Forestry staff, Stimson Lumber Company staff, other neighboring landowners. We feel that the report falls short of what is required in the following four ways: Right Not to be Exposed – Given that four of us, in separate locations, independently and simultaneously smelled and/or tasted the chemical at the same time as...


It’s Not OK

Posted on May 26 by

It’s Not OK – On the morning of May 17th four of us who were working in our Timber forests were apparently exposed to drift from an herbicide spray operation. We were each working in different parts of the forest and independently sensed the chemical – either through smelling and/or tasting. We soon became aware that we could hear a helicopter and confirmed that is was spraying herbicide on a recent clear cut a little over half a mile to the north. The land is owned by Stimson Lumber Company and Wilbur-Ellis was the contractor doing the spraying. Given that a significant north wind was blowing from the helicopter to us, it appears that we were exposed to drift. Though we expect to learn more in the coming weeks and months, here is what we know: 1. Stimson, Oregon Department of Forest and Department of Agriculture staff have been responsive and communicative; for that we are appreciative. 2. We’re fortunate to live in a country and state which have laws related to herbicide spraying and systems for responding when...


Students Share Their Results and Conclusions

Posted on Apr 26 by

For the past three years we’ve been fortunate to have the seventh graders from Catlin Gabel School focus their research attention on the health of our Timber Forest.   Here is a report on the questions their asked, the data they collected, and the conclusions that they’ve drawn.  We thank them, their teachers and the parent helpers for the important work.    When Macroinvertebrates Tell Their Story By: Thea Traw Catlin Gabel 7th Grade Class   Weather:  Cloudy and rainy, with a 50% chance of macroinvertebrates   On March 1st 2016, my science class from Catlin Gabel School returned to Louisgnont Creek, deep within the shadowy forest of Hyla Woods in the Nehalem Watershed. We did not know what to expect:  what had changed and what had stayed the same since we last visited a month ago? As we walked through the steady downpour of rain, however, we were not thinking of ways to attempt to write a blog. Instead, we were studying, observing, and questioning our surrounding and the mysteries within Louisignont Creek. I’ll start my eventful and interesting...


I Caught Hell – And Deserved It

Posted on Apr 5 by

I thought they’d be pleased to see me, but they weren’t. Hands on their hips, they gave me a steely, stern look as I puttered up on my four wheeler “iron pony”. As soon as I shut down the engine, they accusatively asked “you didn’t drive down the road did you?”.  The four of them were mid way through completing our annual round of amphibian surveys in Mt. Richmond Forest.  After an early morning rendezvous with a logger, I was doing my best to find and catch up with them.  The cause of the upset was that I had just driven through puddles in the road that, unknown to me, were home to remarkable copepods, and larval Long toed salamanders and Pacific tree frogs. Being the human that I am, my first instinct was to be defensive, thinking to myself “since when did driving along a forest road become a crime?”. I kept my thoughts to myself – mostly.  Given some time to reflect, I now see that the difference in our perceptions highlights the type of cause and...