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Timber to Table – New Life for an Old Friend

Posted by on Dec 27, 2013 in Blog |

Sometime before 1950, the young couple, May and Spencer Hess, planted two Sequoia seedlings beside their new, forest-surrounded home in the Coast Range foothills.  They grew fast and large and by 2012 began to drop large chunks of their tops onto the house and surrounding yard.  Stewardship of the house and surrounding forest is now in the hands of Hyla Woods, and the falling apart trees posed enough of a safety risk to people and the home that they sadly had to come down.  Great, non native trees in the wrong place.  The next question was: “what might we do with these massive (over 50″ at the base) logs?”  In the foggy cold on the day after Christmas we began the process of giving the trees a second life by milling them into 12′ x 2″ slabs.  Leadership was welcomely provided by Ben Hayes, who found us a slabbing mill and sorted out how to use it.  After several years of drying these slabs will come back to life as beautiful tables and counters.  But where?  Stay tuned!  ...

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A “Counter Culture” Through Partnership

Posted by on Dec 18, 2013 in Blog |

As one more example of the good things that can happen through unique partnerships, Food Front Coop grocery is pleased to have a new and beautiful front counter in their NW Portland store.  The project’s success owes thanks to the cooperative efforts of a consumer (Food Front), an artistic craftsman (James Thompson of Jetwoodshop) and, you guessed it, a nearby forest and sawmill (Hyla Woods).  Diners now have a comfortable spot to eat their meal and beside the counter is a poster that creatively tells the story of the counter.  Special thanks to all, but particularly to the leaders at Food Front for looking for and taking advantage of ways to use their power as consumers to make a positive difference in the nearby, rural landscape.  What’s...

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Pacific Student Scientists Feel the Pulse – Again

Posted by on Dec 18, 2013 in Blog |

We’re pleased to welcome the students in Dr. Gunderson’s Environmental Science course at Pacific University back to the Manning and Timber Forests for a second year of creek health monitoring and analysis.  Here is their report: The Environmental Science class from Pacific University sampled Lousignont Creek on Friday October 25, 2013. It was a cool crisp sunny day. Most of the readings were comparable to the previous year’s sampling except of pH and Biochemical oxygen demand (BOD). The BOD was higher than what was measured in 2012, possibly due to higher levels of organic matter in the water. The measured pH was measured at a level that was lower than levels measured in 2012. This is likely due to the use of new pH meters, which were used for the first time in the field. The macroinvertebrates sample were similar to the previous year.   The following Friday (November 1, 2013) the class sampled Kuder Creek. We were joined by Peter Hayes. Most water quality readings were similar to the previous year’s sampling (2012). The turbidity was significantly higher than the reading at Lousignont Creek, which was also similar to the previous year’s measurements. The higher turbidity at Kuder Creek is likely due to sedimentation which could be caused by the erosion from the steep stream banks. In 2012 we observed a lamprey (species unknown) at Kuder Creek. Lampreys were not observed in 2013. Fewer macroinvertebrates were collected in 2013 versus 2013. There were no stoneflies or mayflies observed in 2013 (indicators of good water quality). The reasons for these observations are unknown.   Kuder   Creek V1 V2 V3 avg Air temp °C 13.3 15 13.4 13.9 Water Temperature  °C 9.6 9.4 9.6 9.533 Hardness (mg/L) 18.6 16.2 18.6 17.8 Q value wgt factor total Dissolved Oxygen (%   saturation) 95.65 93.2 95.65 94.83 99 0.17 16.83 Fecal Coliform (colonies/100 mL) 2 0 2 1.333 97 0.16 15.52 pH 6.5 6.23 6.5 6.41 60 0.11 6.6 B.O.D. (mg/L) 2.7 2.46 2.3 2.487 65 0.11 7.15 Total phosphate (mg/L) 0.12 0.3 0.12 0.18 97 0.1 9.7 Nitrate (mg/L) 0 0.5 0 0.167 97 0.1 9.7 Turbidity (NTU) 15.5 6.2...

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Our Annual News Recap

Posted by on Dec 12, 2013 in Blog |

Hyla Woods News – November 2013: The deadline of once again writing to invite you to join us in welcoming the spawning coho back to the forest constructively prods us to send along the following chronicle of forest highpoints from the past year.  As stewards of these community-connected forests, we value and welcome the many and varied forms of involvement that so many of you have with the forests.  Keeping you posted is one way we try to show our appreciation and encourage your ongoing involvement. News of Note: Restoration Continues – Because it is increasingly clear that the core of our work is rewilding the forests – in ways that make economic sense – it is understandable that much of our work falls under the heading of “restoration”.  Active oak restoration continues in Mt. Richmond Forest.  Working in cooperation with US Fish and Wildlife Service, Yamhill Soil and Water Conservation District and others, we are in our 15th year of restoring our oak stands by both removing light robbing fir and carefully thinning the oak.  In the Timber forest, efforts to return pastures to ecologically functional forests are proving successful, following years of battling invasive broom and seedling munching elk.  The results of stream restoration on Lousignont Creek are encouraging.  After two rounds of large wood placement over the past 15 years, the creek is now actively recruiting its own large wood from undercut trees falling into the creek.  And finally, the wetland restoration project driven by the faculty and students of Pacific University’s Ecological Restoration course at Mt. Richmond has succeed in converting the invasive choked “Bear Pear” wetland back into a diverse community of native plants.  Special thanks to the many people and organizations that have helped – and keep helping – with this work. Biodiversity Firsts – Reminded of the truth in the statement that “every day the forests have something new to teach us – if we are paying attention”, this fall has provided three “firsts”.  Though we have always known that wild members of the cat family are important parts of the forests’ community, we have been surprised by how little evidence we...

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Cohoho Rendezvous 2013 Report

Posted by on Dec 6, 2013 in Blog |

We learned long ago that each year’s annual celebration of the return of the coho and the turning of the year is uniquely different – and this year’s was no exception.  The main challenges included a temperature of 8 degrees at the meeting time and snowy driving.  Rewards for the roughly 30 brave souls included a terrifically clear, crisp day, sharp and numerous animal tracks, good company, a close encounter with the resident red tail, the chance to build and learn about nest boxes, and – thankfully – at least six healthy coho doing their reproductive thing.  For some attendees it was a completely novel and challenging experience, while for others it was another chapter in an ongoing, familiar, annual routine.  Regardless, we were all grateful.  Thanks to Charlie Graham for his photos and to Char and Dave Corkran and Bill Wessinger for leadership on the nest boxes – in polar...

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