The American Forest Resource Council (AFRC) reported that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has determined the North Oregon Coast Distinct Population Segment (DPS) of the red tree vole, a mouse-sized rodent that lives in conifer forests, does not warrant listing as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
In 2007, FWS received a petition from the Center for Biological Diversity, Oregon Chapter of the Sierra Club, Audubon Society of Portland, Cascadia Wildlands Project, and Oregon Wild to list the North Oregon Coast DPS of the red tree vole as endangered or threatened. In 2011, FWS issued a 12-month finding that suggested listing was warranted, primarily due to habitat loss. However, listing was later precluded, and the North Oregon Coast DPS was added to the candidate species list. From 2012 to 2016, FWS addressed the status of the North Oregon Coast DPS annually in its candidate notice of review, with the determination that listing was “warranted but precluded.”
After assessing the best scientific and commercial data regarding the threats to the red tree vole, FWS found that despite some impacts from these stressors and some observed decline in abundance, the red tree vole in this area has maintained resilient populations over time, primarily in two large habitat clusters under federal management. Those two large habitat clusters will continue to maintain resiliency and provide redundancy across a large portion of the DPS for the red tree vole. FWS concluded that the stressors to the red tree vole do not, alone or in combination, rise to a level that causes the North Oregon Coast DPS to meet the definition of an endangered or threatened species. In addition, FWS also rejected petitions to extend ESA protections to four other species: the Ozark chub (fish), purple-disk honeycomb-head (plant), sand verbena moth (insect), and the skiff milkvetch (wildflower).
The American Tree Farm System awarded the New family of Bellingham, Washington, the National Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year honor from among more than 70,000 certified tree farmers nationwide, thanks to their efforts of restoring a portion of a critical watershed to help a threatened species in their state.
The New family, David and Dar New, along with their daughter’s family, Jennifer and Jeff Parker and their sons, are owners of the Nourse Family Tree Farm in Bellingham, Washington. The 165-acre property has been in Dar’s family for three generations.
The New family began their stewardship journey with no formal forestry background nor extensive financial resources, yet they wanted to care for the land sustainably. Diving in head first, they hired a forester to help them write a forest management plan, took landowner education classes, and spent nearly all their weekends at their property. Their hard work paid off. In 2015, the News were certified by the Washington State Tree Farm Program.
One fall, the News noticed that a run of Coho salmon had become stranded in a field. During the 1950s, one of the tributaries on the property had been ditched to create pastureland. Over time, the lower section silted in, causing the flow to disappear into the grass. Heavy rain had caused the run of salmon to end up in the field.
The New family decided to restore the stream, knowing they would need to overcome costs, time, and lack of expertise to complete the work. With assistance from others, a channel was constructed in August 2016, followed by the planting of 3,000 trees along the 30 acres of stream bank to help prevent erosion and filter and clean the water.
The Pacific Forest Foundation has just launched its weekly podcast, Talking Timber. Diane Mettler, Executive Director of the Pacific Logging Congress will take listeners behind the scenes each week to learn more about the Northwest timber industry. Episodes will focus on interviews industry professionals, everyone from foresters to firefighters and from machine operators to log buyers.
“We are excited to be reaching out to a broad audience through Talking Timber,” says Mettler. “Listeners will get a chance to discover what goes into the timber we use each day. And we hope the younger audience will see there are many paths into the industry.”
The podcast is available on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, and other popular podcast apps. For more information, visit pacificforestfoundation.org or stop by the Pacific Logging Congress booth at the Oregon Logging Congress (OLC).
ON THE COVER
Photo taken by Mary Bullwinkel of a Tigercat LX830C at a Morris Logging operation in California.
The complete showguide to the Oregon Logging Conference
New technology aids fire-fighting efforts in Australia.
Forty Years in the Forest
Steve and Jake Morris are responsible for 40 years of successful business operations at northern California-based operation.
Katerra opens CLT mill in Spokane Valley, WA.
Sierra Nevada Stars
California men shire at the annual Lumberjack competition.
Can’t See the Forest for the Dead Trees?