By Frank Hanson,
Education and Outreach, UW/ ONRC
Public Meeting: Community Forest Concept Conversation- March 13, 6 p.m. at ONRC
Interested in what a Community Forest might look like out on the West End of Clallam and Jefferson Counties if there could be broad community support established?
Please join us for a conversation about the concept of a Community Forest hosted at the ONRC on Wednesday, March 13. at 6 p.m. in our Hemlock Forest Room. This is an open invitation to the community. The public conversation will be facilitated by the Nature Conservancy staff Garett Dalan, Washington Coast Community Relations Manager and Catlin Doughty, Conservation Coordinator for TNC at our UW / Olympic Natural Resources Center which is located at 1455 S. Forks Ave.
A little background:
The 2018 state legislature capital budget process included a proviso instructing the DNR to learn more about Washington state community forests owned by a range of entities. The department was to perform an economic analysis of existing community forests and to compile a list of potential community forests from around the state. There was a call from the DNR to develop a possible list of community forest projects.
What is a community forest?
Basically, a community forest is a working forest owned and managed by or on behalf of a local community.
The Nature Conservancy initiated several meetings of community representation as a focus group to begin a conversation about this potential project. It is now time to open up those discussions from the community focus group to the larger community to be part of the conversation. These conversations are in their early stages. This potential project is at a point where there is support from some of the focus group members to support the effort to assess the feasibility and viability of creating a community forest.
Why is TNC is involved? TNC believes that a community forest model may be the best long-term solution to ensuring local values and economy. With the HRT (Hoh River Trust ) lands now being managed by TNC, they are positioned to help lead this conversation. Please join us to learn a little more on the possibility of a community forest and give your input.
And a heads up for your planning calendar, ONRC will be having a series of Evening Talks beginning on Thursday, March 21, with Dr. Scott Horton on breeding land birds of the Olympic Peninsula. This will be followed on Friday night with an Evening Talk, March 22, with fly fisherman and author, Trey Combs and John Aho “A perspective on Wild Steelhead on the Olympics.” The following Thursday, March 28, will be an Evening Talk with Dr. Sandor Toth, School of Environmental and Forest Sciences on his research in coordination with forest adaptive management efforts that may be helpful in future efforts on the OESF. More information to follow.
Gratefully for the community, these Evening Talks are sponsored by the Rosmond Education Fund.
For more information or questions; [email protected] 360-374-4556.