A recent Guild Gathering in Oregon models key goals and gets results

"Innovative Forestry Techniques," one of the many Guild Gatherings held so far this year, happened in Corvallis, Oregon with the help of guild members and Oregon State University.

The gathering included tours of:

  1. Oregon State University’s McDonald Forest to look at ongoing Douglas-fir management, including gap-based management and using two-story stands.
  2. The City of Corvallis Chip Ross Park to see recently completed oak savanna and woodland restoration treatments by Guild members from Trout Mountain Forestry in collaboration with Corvallis Parks & Recreation.

31 people joined for a full day of field tours followed by a casual happy hour gathering. Among these were four Oregon State University students, five fellows from the World Forestry Center in Portland, Oregon, many forestry professionals and land managers, and one dog. One participant’s highlight from the event was “Being able to discuss forestry with industry professionals, small woodlot owners, academics, and scientists all at the same time.”

Indeed, that is one of the valued goals of Guild Gatherings as a whole. Bring diverse perspectives together to support ecologically, economically, and socially responsible forestry. Another participant certainly saw that happening at this event, with a highlight being, “Bringing together a wide range of people with some type of interest in ecosystem management that changes the discussion from timber productivity to healthy, biodiverse stands that promote complex, healthy forest communities.”

Another key goal is to offer on-the-ground experiences that can illustrate responsible forest management in real life. Forests that are models of responsible forest management offer an excellent classroom and discussion space to spark and share ideas. For example, a participant noted that “The ecosystem management in the Chip Ross Park is a great success, and selling those logs can be feedback to the project.” Field tour sites can also be a great way to discuss what one participant would like to hear more and more about: “A better projection of the future challenges to forest stands as climate changes progresses. Decision making in 2018 needs to lay out strategies that will be meaningful 30 years from now.”

Finally, we love to hear about it when Guild Gatherings are “just the beginning.” Whether it be where new connections are made, innovative ideas are shared, critical questions are answered, or any other spark through which people find inspiration in doing their part for ecologically based forestry. There is excitement about what is possible related to the Guild in this region and this event fully captured that.

Organizers and Guild members Shane Hetzler and Peter Hayes shared these thoughts of the event:

"It was great to see the World Forestry Fellows (representing 5 different countries) and hear their perspectives. The local emphasis attracted many people new to the Forest Stewards Guild. They brought diverse perspectives and experiences, all of which added to the value of the discussions. Of course, that was only possible due to the depth and breadth of participation, which I particularly noted and appreciated. I felt that people were thoughtful and reflective in discussing their opinions about opportunities in our region vis-a-vis ecologically based forestry.

I found it particularly heartening to meet the many young attendees, students and local forest practitioners, and to see the ways in which the college forest is integrating the expertise of scientists and thoughtful practitioners."

Shane believes diverse perspectives, as present here, will be a hallmark of the Guild in the Pacific NW due to so many different people working on so many different (but interrelated) issues.

Thank you to all who worked so hard to coordinate this successful event and to all who wholeheartedly attended. You’ve made a difference! And thanks to Shannon Murray and Shane Hetzler for the photos in this article.

Check the events calendar for another Pacific Northwest Guild Gathering coming in October 2018!