Woodland - Winter 2019 - 21

Standing on a gravel bar along
a bend of Pilchuck Creek, which
forms the Nourse Tree Farm's
southeastern boundary, David and
Dar point out unique fish along the
creek. The Pilchuck is a tributary of
the Stillaguamish River, which feeds
into Puget Sound, about 20 miles
away. Tall cottonwood, Douglas fir
and big leaf maple trees line the
banks of this rock-strewn, tanninrich waterway.
The fish that the News point out
are salmon with uniquely curved
backs. They are pinks, the smallest
species of wild salmon in the Pacific
Northwest. They arrive at this spot
every other October to dig redds and
spawn the next generation of fish.
Come November, coho salmon
will migrate into the Pilchuck and the
two unnamed streams on the News'
property. In spring, fingerling salmon
leave the streams and head out to
sea. Those are the fish that sparked
a major habitat restoration project.
Unfortunately, factors like
habitat loss, fragmentation and
development have caused the
once-legendary salmon runs to
dwindle over the years to the point
where they are listed as threatened
or endangered in nearly threefourths of Washington.
"The salmon are a real part of
Northwest heritage and our culture,"
says Jennifer Parker, the News'
daughter, a geologist who, along
with her husband, Jeff, shares a
love of nature with their two boys,
Tyler and Alex. "Growing up, the
kids go out and watch the salmon
return every year. And now we've
created a much better habitat for
them to return into."

The Nourse Tree Farm is home
to diverse fish and wildlife habitats:
the river, stands of alder for eventual
harvest, hilly areas with mixed tree
species, wetlands dense with moss
and ferns, open fields and a large
garden complete with blueberries,
dahlias and fruit trees.
That any of this exists is kind of
a miracle, considering how the land
narrowly escaped being turned into
a housing development.
Continuing a Family Tradition
Leroy Nourse, Dar's grandfather,
purchased the land in 1942. "This
property has been in my family for
longer than I've been alive," Dar
recalls. "When I was little, my very
brave mother and aunt would take
seven children right to the edge of
the river to camp. We were free to
run wherever we wanted. We went
up and down the river. We jumped in
the water. It was just a great way to
grow up."
Bob Nourse, Dar's uncle, owned
the land for 48 years and died
without a succession plan. The
property went to 10 relatives, most
of whom favored selling it to a
developer. The sale nearly closed,
but the recession ended the deal.

In 2010, after years of persistence,
David and Dar became the owners.
"If we hadn't been able to acquire
the land," David says, "it would have
gone to development. Eventually
there would have been 60 houses -
that's just an inevitability. We're
surrounded by five-acre tracts as
it is, each with its own house. This
would have been more of the same."
The next task was classifying
the land as forested open space to
make the taxes more affordable.
This required a forest management
plan. David's engineering
background was useful, but he
knew he'd need help from forestry
professionals to care for the land. He
joined the Washington Farm Forestry
Association and took a coached
planning class led by Kevin Zobrist,
an associate professor at WSU
Extension Forestry, who guided him
through the process of writing a
management plan.
"When people come out of our
courses, the two things I hear over
and over are 'I didn't know what
I didn't know,' and 'I look at my
forest with whole new eyes,'" Zobrist
says. "Education is empowering,
and that's our goal: to empower
landowners to meet their objectives."

Winter 2019 * WOODLAND 21


Woodland - Winter 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Woodland - Winter 2019

2019 Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year
Giving Back for the Forests of Tomorrow
Policies And Partnerships Go Hand In Hand For Strong Forests
Woodland - Winter 2019 - Intro
Woodland - Winter 2019 - cover1
Woodland - Winter 2019 - cover2
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 3
Woodland - Winter 2019 - OVERSTORY
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 5
Woodland - Winter 2019 - FORESTS AND FAMILIES
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 7
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 8
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 9
Woodland - Winter 2019 - FOREST INTERACTIONS Seedlings
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 11
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 12
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 13
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 14
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 15
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 16
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 17
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 18
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 19
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 2019 Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 21
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 22
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 23
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 24
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 25
Woodland - Winter 2019 - Giving Back for the Forests of Tomorrow
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 27
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 28
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 29
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 30
Woodland - Winter 2019 - Policies And Partnerships Go Hand In Hand For Strong Forests
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 32
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 33
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 34
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 35
Woodland - Winter 2019 - TOOLS AND RESOURCES
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 37
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 38
Woodland - Winter 2019 - cover3
Woodland - Winter 2019 - cover4