Forest Stewards Guild Pacific West Region Program

The principal geographic focus of the Guild’s Pacific West program is currently the state of California, but the Guild seeks to build its presence in Oregon and Washington as well. The Guild’s Pacific West program goal in California is to reform forest policy to create incentives for excellent forestry and to expand the application of excellent forestry across the private and public forest landscape. In addition, the Guild is active in providing technical advice and assistance to community forestry practitioners.

  • Major Challenges in the Pacific West
  • Guild Gatherings
  • Highlights from 2017

Major Challenges in the Pacific West

  • Globalization of forest products supply:
    • The importation of low cost logs and forest products from sources with fewer or no restrictions on forest operations.
    • Offshore flight of mills to countries with lower conversion costs and fewer restrictions on supply.
  • Consolidation of mills into fewer ownerships at fewer locations.
  • Conversion of late successional forests to second growth forests with greater per stem handling costs and greater susceptibility to damage from wildfire.
  • Increases in fuel, equipment, insurance, and other logging costs
  • Domination of forest workforce by undocumented and migrant workers who are politically, socially, and economically vulnerable.
  • Inadequate funding and single year funding of public agency forestry programs.
  • Lack of trust by the public of forest managers, leading to project appeals and delays, especially of projects on public lands.
  • A regulatory and litigation climate, particularly in California, that substantially increases forest management costs and hampers landowners’ abilities to justify stand improvements and harvests, or to respond to favorable log markets.

Guild Gatherings

One of the best ways the Forest Steward Guild can support solutions to the challenges above is to foster discussion, idea-sharing, education across perspectives and interests, and help build the foundation to find wins for everyone. In 2017, we brought a diversity of people together to do just that, and already there is excitement about potential solutions. These events included everything from honored time with the "Father of Ecological Forest Management," Dr. Jerry Franklin, to new connections among professors and students at UC Berkeley, the University of Nevada Reno, and representatives from CAL FIRE and the California Resource Agency. Discussions ranged from innovative techniques to manage in ways that mimic natural disturbance events and support native species, to potential replicated treatments throughout the Sierras to assess effects of climate change. Building partnerships and even awareness to start, takes time. This work is shaping up in the Pacific West, thanks to Guild members and partners who are taking the lead. You can read more about the 2017 gatherings from the links below.

Highlights from 2017