Idaho Tree Farm Fall Newsletter 2018


Fall 2018
Idaho Tree Farm Program
P.O. Box 2659 • Coeur d’Alene, ID 83814 • (T) 208.667.4641, ext 503 • (F) 208.664.0557 •
Idaho Tree Farm Program

Fall Field Tour 2018 Recap

Kroetch Land and Timber

The annual Fall Field Tour of the Idaho Outstanding Tree Farmer of the year, Brian Kroetch, was September 8, 2018 with 62 Tree Farmers and guests in attendance.  It was a beautiful, clear Fall day and a great opportunity to get out and enjoy a day in the field.

The founder of the Kroetch Empire was Joseph J Kroetch, Brian’s great grandfather.  He started the family operation in 1881, buying land to supply their sawmill.  They currently own 21,615 acres. Brian started in the woods in late 1970’s, and ran dozer for several years. By 1990 he needed to make a decision to continue logging or go another direction. Brian attended college at the University of Idaho and afterward started a forest consulting business. His first big client was Inland Empire Paper.  He began running property lines, doing plantation surveys, and marking timber for them.  After spending some time honing his forestry skills with IEP he eventually settled in to managing his family holdings full time.  He describes his goal as producing a steady future income from a sustainable supply of timber.  They currently have 54 tree farms.

For our tour Brian lead the group through portions of his 6,000 acre Mica Bay Tree Farm area south of CDA. During the day we viewed an active logging job with new road construction and looked at some of the regrowth in areas that had been logged several years ago.  Brian discussed his program of partnering with the Idaho Fish & Game Department.  Their program allows hunting access on the Kroetch lands with the IF&G controlling the roaded access.  The tour was capped off with a very interesting visit to a fish rearing operation and a catered lunch.


•   President –

Russ Hegedus
Idaho Forest Group
(T) 208.255.3250

•  Vice President –
Sean Hammond
(T) 208.610.8754

Treasurer –
Steve Cuvala
Idaho Dept. of Lands
(T) 208.245.4551

•  Administrator –
Colleen Meek
ID Tree Farm Program

(T) 208.667.4641 Ex 503

District Chairs

•   District 1 Chair –
Andy Eckberg
Idaho Forest Group

(T) 208.255.3276

•  District 2 Chair –
Tim Schaffer
Bennett Lumber Products
(T) 208.819.1214

•  District 3 Chair –
John Lillehaug
All About Forestry
(T) 208.630.4076



Trout Rearing Pond


Current Logging Site


Idaho Tree Farm Program Assessment – Coming in 2019



Idaho Tree Farm Fee System Approved
As we stated in our Spring newsletter, the Idaho Tree Farm Committee voted earlier this year to begin a fee system for our program.  This will help cover administrative expenses and allow us to continue expanding outreach activities to our Tree Farmers.  After much discussion we settled on a flat annual fee of $10.00 per Tree Farmer, with spouses counted as single Tree Farmer.  It was discussed to have the 2019 billing due in April of 2019, then each subsequent calendar year due by the end of December.

Our National office in Washington D.C. has indicated they will require a financial plan from each state detailing how they will maintain stability of their program.  Our Idaho Program currently is funded by a small amount of funds (a little over $4.00 per tree farm) from National, and part of the incentive bonus Idaho Forest Products pays for logs delivered to them from certified Tree Farms.  By instituting a small fee system we will have a third source of funding and be in much better shape to continue with tours, coffee socials, newsletters as well as cover the administrative costs to operate our program.  If you have any other ideas for increasing our member outreach, please feel free to contact our State Administrator Colleen Meek at (208)-667-4641, ext 503.

The end of 2018 also marks the end of our current term of committee members and officers.  Russ Hegedus will be stepping down as President – a big thank you to him for the past two years of service! – and Sean Hammond will take the reins as President.  Many of the other committee members have agreed to continue for another term but we are always on the lookout for fresh faces as well.  If you have been looking for ways to be more involved in our program please consider serving on the state committee.  Regular meetings are quarterly the third Thursday of January, April, July and October.  Our committee members serve for two year terms, with 2019-2020 being the next term.

If you are interested and have any questions, contact your District Chair or our State office for more information.

New Year, New Committee
Part of being a “Certified” Tree Farm Program is the requirement every 3-5 years of a 3rd party assessment to ensure we are in compliance with all the current certification standards.  We have been informed that 2019 will be the next audit/assessment year so we need to begin getting things in motion to be ready.  Early in 2019 officials from the 3rd party organization, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, and representatives from our National ATFS office will travel to Idaho and decide on which parcels to visit.  Our record keeping and procedures will be checked, but the main thing for member Tree Farmers to address will be your management plans.  If you haven’t regularly done so, now would be a good time to locate, dust off, and update as necessary your management plan to ensure it complies with the current certification standards.  If you are unsure or have any questions on any of this, contact your Inspecting Forester or call our state office at 208-667-4641 Ext 503 or email to


Modernizing the Forest Stewardship Program

By Mary Fritz, Idaho Department of Lands, Forest Stewardship Program Manager


Over the last several months, the US Forest Service together with state forestry agency representatives from across the country began efforts to develop options for modernizing the Forest Stewardship Program. This is due to decreasing appropriations for the program. Nationally, the program has experienced a roughly 50% decline in funding since its creation in 1990.Forest Stewardship Program has a unique niche; it is the only national technical assistance program that provides a comprehensive and consistent approach to influence management of family owned forests to sustain healthy, working forests. The program complements and enhances other federal, state, and private programs and, as a result, delivers outcomes on the ground. For example, Forest Stewardship is a portal to such programs as insects and disease identification and treatment, fire risk reduction, and landowner cost share programs. The program is key in delivering habitat improvement and sustainably supplying timber products from the nation’s non-industrial private forestlands. The program targets priority landscapes vital to sustaining the nation’s national resources and works across public and private lands to create more resilient ecosystems. 

The program is evolving to address four national priorities. Forest health is addressed through these priorities.

  • fire (fuels reduction, prescribed fire),
  • water (water quality, clean drinking water, watershed management),
  • jobs (rural prosperity), and
  • wildlife habitat.

USFS Cooperative Forestry leadership organized a working group of key external partners and agency staff to develop options to better focus and prioritize federal investment, achieve outcomes on priority lands, serve landowners and leverage partnerships. Currently, assistance to landowners has been on a first come, first service basis and the future direction is to focus planning and technical assistance in priority landscapes to address resource issues.

In 2010, Idaho’s Forest Action Plan delineated priority areas using a collaborative process. Currently, IDL is updating the Forest Action Plan with the help of many partners.

In Idaho, the Forest Stewardship Program is administered by the Idaho Department of Lands (IDL). Many forest owners have benefited from the services IDL Private Forestry Specialists provide that includes planning, technical assistance and education. How will Idaho’s Forest Stewardship Program change? That is yet to be determined and will be based on the final national recommendations. The Forest Service and

state coordinators as well as other partners will work to design and reshaped program in 2019 (which may require revised program metrics, allocation formula, database and data needs) in 2019, with program implementation anticipated in 2020.

For more information contact: Mary Fritz, or phone: 208-666-8667


Ties to the Land Session – Thompson Falls, MT

November 10, 2018 at Thompson Falls Community Center

Are you concerned about your family heritage and planning for an orderly transition of your Tree Farm?  Kaniksu Land Trust and Montana State University Extension are presenting a Ties to the Land session in Thompson Falls, Montana on November 10 to help you prepare.

Ties to the Land is an award winning curriculum developed by leading estate planning experts at Oregon State University Extension and the Austin Family Business Program.  An excerpt from the notice on this session reads:

Do you own and care for ranch or forest land?

If so, you probably have strong feelings about leaving your land in good condition for the future. 

Succession Planning – the human side of Estate Planning – focuses on ways to maintain family ties to the land from generation to generation, building awareness of key challenges facing family businesses, and motivating families to address those challenges. 

Facilitators of this session will be long time Tree Farmers, Kirk and Madeline David.  Kirk and Madeline have a wealth of experience with forest products industry, forest management and family succession planning.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Workshop Content

Ties to the Land includes presentations, video clips, and interactive exercises on the following topics:

·       10 Steps to Successful Succession Planning

·       Passion, Preparation, and Planning

·       Family Ties, Differing Objectives

·       Generation Gaps

·       The Heirloom Scale, Values and Goals

·       Conflicting Roles of Family and Business

·       Tips for a Successful First Family Meeting

·       Guidelines for Good Communication

·       Choosing the Best Team of Advisors for You

·       Putting the Plan Together, Success Strategies

·       Transferring Ownership

·       Legal and Financial Instruments

The Session is open to forest landowners and ag producers

The cost is $10 per person or $20 per family.  To register or learn more, contact:

July Thurston at – (406)-827-6934


Upcoming University of Idaho Extension Forestry Classes
Here are a few of the opportunities currently offered by U of I Extension this winter.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –Forestry Short course 

Enriches family forest owners’ basic understanding of forest planning, forest ecology, silviculture, insects, disease, wildlife habitat, taxes, and other forest stewardship topics (2 UI credits available) (IMFS).

Moscow, Six Tuesday/Thursday afternoons, January 29 & 31; February 5, 7, 12, & 14, 2019

Sandpoint, Six Wednesday mornings, June 12, 19, & 26; July 10, 17, & 24, 2019

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Identifying Idaho’s Trees 

Learn to identify Idaho’s native forest trees and some common forest shrubs. Sessions may be indoors or in the field.

Sandpoint, Saturday, December 1, 2018 (9am to 12pm)

Coeur d’Alene, Mon. February 4, 2019 (6pm to 8pm)

St. Maries, Thursday, April 11, 2019 (1pm to 4pm)

Additional sessions of this program can be scheduled for interested groups of 10 or more.– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Turning Idaho Trees into Wreaths 

Learn to make a fresh wreath using native evergreens. A presentation and demonstration will be followed by hands-on time to create your own wreath.

Sandpoint, Saturday, December 1, 2018 (1pm to 3pm)- – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Current Topics of Farm and Forest Health: Climate Change 

Learn how climate change is expected to influence agricultural pests, invasive weed spread, cattle and grazing systems, and forest insects in the Inland NW.

Orofino, Thursday, December 13, 2018- – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Family Foresters Workshop 

Annual UI/WSU Extension program updating foresters and other professionals on emerging technology and knowledge applicable to family forests.

Spokane Valley, Friday, January 18, 2019- – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

 For more information or to register, contact 

Chris Schnepf – Area Extension Educator, CdA – (208)-446-1680 

Bill Warren, Extension Educator, Orofino – (208)-476-4434 

Randy Brooks, Extension Forestry Specialist, Moscow – (208)–885-6356


Forest Health Updates, Idaho Department of Lands

Tom Eckberg. Forest Health Program Manager Idaho Dept of Lands

Through the spring and summer of 2018, Department of Lands personnel received many reports of fir engraver (Scolytus ventralis) killing grand fir in northern Idaho. This bark beetle attacks stressed or weakened trees of all sizes, and dry weather during the growing season is an effective stressor. Northern Idaho has had dry summers (when trees are actively growing) the last four years. Grand fir growing on drier sites may be fine during years when precipitation is normal, but during drier years, fir engraver activity picks up. Aerial surveyors mapped over 100,000 affected acres of fir engraver activity in 2018 compared to 55,000 acres in 2017. This is a reminder that grand fir is adapted to moister sites, and in drier areas, landowners should consider managing for other species.

Douglas-fir tussock moth has been defoliating Douglas-fir and grand fir in southern Idaho, mostly on the Boise National Forest and adjacent state and private lands south of Cascade. There was limited defoliation in 2017 west of Smiths Ferry, and an isolated outbreak near Craters of the Moon National Monument. Egg mass surveys indicate that there will be one more year of defoliation before the populations crash due to a virus disease specific to this insect and predators and parasites. Some areas had severe defoliation, with as much as 90% of the needles lost to feeding injury. Where there are large populations of caterpillars and little available food, starvation will result.

Moderate Douglas-fir tussock moth defoliation of grand fir and Douglas-fir on the Packer John State Forest in October 2018
Douglas-fir tussock moth frass and fallen needles beneath a grand fir on the Boise National Forest, October 2018.
(Forest Health Updates Continued on Next Page)


IDL received some reports from landowners in the St. Joe and Clearwater Valleys of large numbers of moths flying in the woods and in town in September. US Forest Service and Department of Lands personnel have been seeing large numbers of hemlock looper moths in gypsy moth and Douglas-fir tussock moth traps when the traps were collected in September and October. Defoliation of grand fir and abundant adults were observed during ground checks in the Nez Perce National Forest southeast of Kooskia. Western hemlock looper is an “inchworm” moth caterpillar that periodically causes damage to grand fir, Douglas-fir, subalpine fir and western hemlock. The last outbreak was in the Clearwater River Valley in 2010 and 2011. Like Douglas-fir tussock moth, western hemlock looper outbreaks usually subside after a year or two due to natural controls (predators and parasites). Defoliation occurs later in the season, so it is not always recorded during the aerial survey.
Western hemlock looper larva.
Western hemlock looper adults in puddle. Photo by L. Pederson, USDA Forest Service. Nez Perce National Forest, September 21, 2018.
Forest Health Updates, Idaho Department of Land

(continued from page 6)


Events to Highlight

Nov  10, 2018 – Ties to the Land, Thompson Falls, MT

Jan 17, 2019 – Idaho Tree Farm Committee Meeting, CDA, ID

Feb 6-7, 2019 – Forester Forum, CDA, ID

March 24-26, 2019 – Family Forest Landowners & Managers Conference and Exposition, Moscow, ID

Welcome New Members!


The Idaho Tree Farm Committee extends a special welcome to the 8 newest Idaho Tree Farm Program’s certified members.  Thank you to the District Chairs and Inspecting Foresters for promoting membership in the Idaho Tree Farm Program through the American Tree Farm System®.

As a current member, and a steward of the land, we appreciate your current support of the program and your management of the forestland for pride and pleasure.  Thank you for your continued commitment to protecting watersheds and wildlife habitat, conserving soil and, at the same time, producing the wood America needs and uses.


Tree Farm Member Acreage County Inspecting Forester
John and Susan Vowell 120 Boundary Andrew Eckberg
Bart and Dawn Stryhas 212 Idaho David Summers
U of I Experimental Forest 1386 Latah Robbie Easley
U of I Experimental Forest 994 Latah Robbie Easley
U of I Experimental Forest 2121 Latah Robbie Easley
U of I Experimental Forest 47 Latah Robbie Easley
Breckenhauer Family Trust 20 Kootenai Remington Daniels
Northwest Lands Unlimited LLC 130 Kootenai Remington Daniels





Stay Informed…..

In case you are ever wondering what is going on at the committee level, our Minutes are now being posted on the Idaho Tree Farm Program website.  Just log onto our website for Minutes of previous sessions, contact information, upcoming events, and other news of note to help you in your Tree Farm endeavors.



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About Our Organization…

The purpose of the Idaho Tree Farm Program is to promote better forest management among nonindustrial forest owners.  The vehicle for achieving this aim is the American Tree Farm System® (ATFS), sponsored nationally by the American Forest Foundation (AFF), state wide by the Idaho SFI State Implementation Committee (SFI SIC), and administered by the Idaho Tree Farm Committee (State Committee).































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