Seeing the Airport from the Forest

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There are many reasons why the current renovation and reconstruction at the Portland Airport is significant and worthy of attention. As a Coast Range forest owner and steward, viewing the project from a distance, I’m unfortunately not the right person to enumerate all of the reasons why we should take note of and learn from […]

Annual State of Lousignont Creek Report – December 2021

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Over the past nine school years the 7th grade class of Catlin Gabel School has embarked on the important (often wet, cold, and muddy) work of assessing the water quality of Lousignont Creek as it flows though Hyla Woods on its way to the Pacific. Students learn the ways of the field scientist and work […]

Three Days in a Forest – YOUR forest!

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I can’t think of a place where the ratio between the number of people who talk and think about a place is so out of whack with the number who have actually set foot in the place.  The place is the Elliott State Forest in the Oregon Coast Range and, until recently, I was part […]

Forest Products – Reflections On

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We were seated in a circle of folding chairs as the summer’s setting sun dropped below the tree line.  Looking down, I was surprised by the amount of dust caking my worn boots.  Dust lingering from a long day in the nearby forest loading logs from recently thinned trees onto mill-bound trucks.  All of us […]

Fence Pulling – A “Four Legged” Rewilding Adventure

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The Hyla Woods team is fortunate to be working in partnership with the good folks at Tualatin Soil and Water Conservation District to plan and carry out a challenging 60 acre restoration project in our Mt. Richmond Forest on land recently purchased from our neighbors. One part of the project is removing four legs of […]

Illuminated by Fire

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Now that most welcomed, cold rains have brought our fire season to an end, it seems constructive to reflect on some of the lessons reinforced by events in the past two months.  Though the fires are dwindling, the human suffering related to them is far from over; this is a time to focus on ways […]

BEE – ing

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Over the years, we’ve monitored a variety of things in our forests, from birds to amphibians and creek bugs to water temperatures. We’ve often talked about what else to add. Thanks to Molly’s work with native bees and Extension forester Amy Grotta’s encouragement to join her 2019 Oregon Bee Atlas monitoring outings at Matteson State […]

Timber Wars – How Helpful?

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Metaphors Matter – It’s Time for a Change:   There is so much that is right, good, and encouraging about the accord that was recently reached between representatives of the so called timber industry and conservation groups in Oregon, and there is one key element that is wrong.  I hope that we’ll all support the effort’s […]

The Last Call?

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Over the thirty plus years that our family has been connected to our current forests, we have listened and looked long and hard for Northern spotted owls. We know that at some time in the past they found suitable homes in these forests, but so far we have yet to encounter one.  But they nested […]

Our Focus on Outcomes – Some Tentative News

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As forest stewards we believe that intentions are nice, actions are good, but outcomes are what matter most.  Accordingly, we are always hungry for chances to assess outcomes. One of those chances came yesterday morning.  At 7:15 AM, not long after the near solstice sun came over the hill, we finished the last of three […]