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Author: Tracy Robillard

Maintaining Healthy Timber Forests Takes Teamwork

Posted by Tracy Robillard, Oregon Public Affairs Officer on June 27, 2016 at 04:31 PM
Kevin Goodell (left), a member of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians and tribal natural resources crew member, and Mike Kennedy, natural resources director for the Siletz Tribe.

Kevin Goodell (left), a member of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians and tribal natural resources crew member, and Mike Kennedy, natural resources director for the Siletz Tribe.

“I love working in the forest. Feels good just to be out here,” says Kevin Goodell, a Siletz tribal member who serves on the tribe’s natural resources crew. “We log the trees, we go back in and plant them, we thin them. It’s a cycle that keeps the forest healthy and keeps it here for future generations―for my kids and grandkids.”

Healthy forests are an integral part of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians’ way of life—spiritually, culturally, and economically.

“Forest health is our shared focus,” says Kate Danks, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) district conservationist in Lincoln County. “Pre-commercial thinning is essential because it removes damaged and diseased trees, and it opens up the canopy, allowing more sunlight in. The open understory also provides better wildlife habitat.” Read more >>

Tags: Oregon, forests, Tribal

categories Communities, Environment, Farmer & Rancher Stories, Soil Health


Oregon Ranchers Nurture Milkweed, Lure Monarchs

Posted by Tracy Robillard, Oregon Public Affairs Specialist on June 01, 2016 at 08:31 AM
Laurie Halsey examines a cluster of milkweed plants on her ranch.

Laurie Halsey examines a cluster of milkweed plants on her ranch.

If you plant them, they will come.

That’s Warren and Laurie Halsey’s approach to improving monarch butterfly habitat on their 270-acre ranch in Benton County, Oregon.

“If there’s no milkweed, there’s no place for the monarchs to lay their eggs. They depend on it,” Warren said. “We started planting milkweed about 12 years ago when we got some seeds from the Audubon Society. We took it on as an experiment and planted them in different spots on the property. It was a struggle getting the plants going, but we figured out what worked and what didn’t. And then, when the monarchs appear, it’s a blessing. You just get really excited.”

After a decade of trial and error, and with help from multiple volunteers and partners, the Halseys now have 19 active milkweed clusters on their ranch. This year, they reported seeing more monarchs than ever before. Read more >>

Tags: Oregon, monarch butterfly, wetlands, pollinators

categories Plants & Animals, Conservation Programs, Environment, Farmer & Rancher Stories, Landscape Initiatives