Sunday, May 24, 2015

We Are Certifiable

It took a year, but we finally received our certification for sustainable forest management from the American Forest Foundation. In the process, we also worked with the Idaho Department of Lands and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service on developing our forest management plan. 

The Certified Family Forest designation is proof that we are managing our property according to a detailed plan that balances forest health, wildlife management, water quality, and responsible recreation. So at least we received this nifty sign in exchange for all the time we're spending controlling erosion, thinning and pruning, replanting, eliminating noxious weeds, and improving wildlife habitat.

To "celebrate" we volunteered to help out with the 2015 Idaho State Forestry Contest.  This is a statewide program designed to teach kids about the wide diversity of trees in Idaho and the best practices for managing this valuable resource.

Not that we love children and look for volunteer opportunities to hang out them. It is well documented that children are all monsters. In addition, human children under 4' 9" all look alike and are almost impossible to tell apart. That aside, we thought it might be fun to check it out.

The gang. With teams from Montana and Washington as well.

Compass and pacing skills

Log scaling

Forest surveying

Tree identification and silviculture

It has been unusually mild since we made it back up to Far North Idaho, with constant sunshine, temperatures in the mid to high 70's and no rain for almost seven weeks now. The asparagus has come and gone, and we've been picking ripe, juicy strawberries for over a week already. But the dry weather has definitely hurt the mushroom season this year. Thankfully, the weather forecast is calling for some clouds and a little rain over the next few days.