Vashon Forest Stewards Programs
We have written forest stewardship plans for the local park district and for King County forest land. We have carried out thinning operations on those properties that work with nature to improve ecological health, enhance wildlife biodiversity and help move the woods towards older growth forests - all while producing revenue for the public agencies that manage them.
We have created a community mill yard where logs thinned during stewardship operations are milled, kiln dried and then processed into finished flooring, trim, paneling, siding and post and beams. Much of the heavy infrastructure necessary for moving logs and processing lumber have been built by our volunteers.
Several dozen students from our local high school have participated in the Vashon Youth Corps where they receive a forest education and get paid to plant native seedlings, remove invasive plants and build forest trails. They recently completed work on a Forest Stewardship Plan for the local school district property.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
We are nearing completion of a forest education outreach project in our nearly 400-acre Island Center Forest, building kiosks from local logs and lumber and creating a series of 20 interpretive signs to help inform visitors about the importance of forests, how we need to care for them and how they care for us.
Infrastructure is always critical. We employ three young adults at our mill yard that cut and process lumber. Our forklift broke down this last year and we have not had the funding to repair it. This means that our mill crew presently has to move every piece of lumber by hand - not an efficient use of their time. We also need lumber racks to hold our finished wood.