Newsletter Winter 2018

Winter 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

2018 Annual Meeting

Family Forest Landowners and Managers Conference

March 25-27, 2018, Moscow, ID


With the days getting longer and spring starting to appear on the radar, that means one thing for sure – It’s time to pack your bag and make plans to attend the Family Forest Landowners and Managers Conference in Moscow! The 2018 conference will be held March 25-27 at the University Inn Best Western and the theme for this year is “Securing the Future of My Forest – Balancing the Risks & Rewards”. As in the past the annual meeting of our Idaho Tree Farm Program will be held Monday night (26th) at 6:30 PM and all are welcome.     There will be some appetizers and a no host bar, updates on last year’s accomplishments, a look at what’s in store for the upcoming season, and the crowning of our Idaho Outstanding Tree Farmer, Inspector, and Logger of the year.

The schedule for the conference this year will be a “Ties to the Land” session Sunday facilitated by Kirk and Madeline David followed by a “Get Acquainted” no-host social. Monday will cover various issues surrounding forests and fires, with a showing of the video “The Era of Megafires”. Topics will cover updates on the federal level regarding fire funding, the use of prescribed fire on private lands, and what to do to prepare for & work through the event when fire comes your way.     Tuesday morning the classes will center around “Making Management Pay”, with various breakout sessions in the afternoon on “Forest Critters and Forest Intruders”. There will definitely be something for everyone about caring for your Tree Farm – fires, funding, forest health improvements, and much more.

In addition to the Idaho Tree Farm Program annual meeting, there will also be a business meeting for the Inland Empire Society of American Foresters at 4:00 PM Monday, and the annual meeting of the Idaho Forest Owners Association at 7:00 AM Tuesday.

Plan to come for learning, socializing & networking with landowners, foresters and agency personnel from all facets of private timberland ownership.


•   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

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





Fee Structure to be Implemented for Idaho Tree Farm Program


What is being a Tree Farmer worth to you? Program costs continue to rise, and we have discussed the possibility of a fee system to cover these for some time now. Most likely this will be put in place for 2019. The Idaho Tree Farm Committee is currently considering an annual charge of $10.00 per Tree Farm and plans a final vote on this at the April 2018 committee meeting.

Tree Farming means many things to many landowners. Caring for a special timbered tract, creating a plan to reach your personal goals, access to new information as it comes along, socializing with other landowners, and being a part of the largest and oldest private land stewardship organization in America – these are all part of ATFS.

The thing that sets the Tree Farm program apart from others though is that it exists as a certification body. As a certified Tree Farm your land is recognized under the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) as meeting required standards for sustainability. As such, products from your land can be sold into various markets as sustainably certified, which is becoming increasingly important to manufacturers.       Many of you will remember the “State Voice, State Choice” discussion we had regarding whether to remain a certified program and our vote to go ahead with this in April 2015.

This certification hinges on regular 3rd party audit review of each state’s program. Up to this point our parent organization, American Forest Foundation (AFF), has borne the entire cost of the 3rd party review. Beginning in 2019 though, they have given notice a $10.00 charge for each Tree Farm will be assessed to the various state programs. As part of our decision to continue as a certified state program, we need to provide AFF with a financial plan by the end of 2018 as to how we will generate this assessment, hence the need now to begin a fee system.

Keep in mind, the charge from AFF to each state is by Tree Farm, not Tree Farmer. Those of you that own a single Tree Farm will be assessed a single $10.00 fee, but those with multiple tree farms will be assessed $10.00 for each Tree Farm number in our system.

If you have any questions or desire more information, we will go over this as well at our annual meeting during the Family Forest Landowners & Managers Conference in Moscow this coming March. You may also contact our State office at 208-667-4641 or



In our last newsletter we told you a little about the University of Idaho Nursery and Seedling Research committee and the role it plays in developing the best seedlings to meet our needs. Currently, Tree Farm is not represented on the research committee and we have formally requested a seat at the table. They are considering this request and have asked for some information as to what Tree Farm is all about, which we have provided them. We will keep you abreast of their decision and whatever information is available regarding seedling research and development news of importance to Tree Farmers.
U of I Center for Forest Nursery and Seedling Research


Project Learning Tree Update


Change and Stability: PLT Moves into Fifth Decade

The past year brought big changes for Project Learning Tree (PLT). In mid-2017, after many decades with the American Forest Foundation, PLT became a program of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc. (SFI). Integration into SFI provides PLT with opportunities to expand its reach and impact. In turn, PLT helps with SFI’s increasing focus on community engagement.

Idaho PLT continues to operate as in the past. Since 1993, PLT has served as the anchor environmental education program of the Idaho Forest Products Commission. IFPC is funded by mandatory assessments paid solely by the forest industry. Additional Idaho PLT funding partners include the Idaho Department of Lands, U.S. Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, Idaho Firewise, Timber License Plate fund, Idaho Tree Farm Program, and a variety of competitive grants.

Each year, roughly 400 PreK-12th grade teachers and youth leaders participate in Idaho PLT professional development workshops. These educators can easily reach over 25,000 youth every year. IFPC also provides tree cookie kits and Idaho-specific and forestry related printed and digital resources that are classroom appropriate and readily augment PLT. Additional opportunities for this key audience include the Sustainable Forestry Tour for Teachers & Counselors, Forest Products Week Essay Contest, Arbor Day Student Photo Contest, Papermaking and Forester Tools lending kits, Forest Education Grants, social media and a comprehensive website,

Of particular interest to family forest owners are PLT’s Nature Activities for Families. Nearly forty activities are available FREE for download at Explore PLT’s website to get acquainted with the many exciting things PLT is doing. The most recent additions to PLT’s extensive menu of teaching resources include innovative new E-Units. These units provide the hands-on, minds-on indoor and outdoor activities you expect from PLT, with the curriculum and resources accessible online. Teachers applaud the E-Units’ intuitive instructional design, and the ease with which they can meet academic standards.

As PLT moves into its fifth decade of teaching students how to think – not what to think – about the environment and their responsibility for it, PLT and SFI will work closely together to expand environmental and sustainability education in diverse ways. Idaho PLT looks forward to working with our local partners to achieve this in our beautiful Idaho back yard!

Learn more at Contact Idaho PLT at or you may call Michelle Youngquist at 208-334-4061



Upcoming U of I Extension Forestry Classes
Nearly everyone has seen dead trees dotting northern Idaho forests. Most of the trees you notice were killed by bark beetles, but many other insects and diseases kill trees, often in less visible ways.

On Friday, July 27th, the Forest Insect and Disease Field Day will give participants first-hand exposure to a wide range of organisms that impair the growth of trees and forests in northern Idaho, including: western pine beetle and other bark beetles; Armillaria and other root diseases; white pine blister rust; indian paint fungus, pini rot and other stem decays; and dwarf mistletoes. Experts will help participants identify insect and disease symptoms and discuss practical long and short term methods of dealing with them.


Forest Thinning & Pruning Field Day to be held in Bonners Ferry, June 2nd


Trees killed by bark beetle attacks always make forest owners ask: “what can we do about it?” Whether you have problems with insects or disease, concerns about fire, or just want to help forest growth, the response from foresters is nearly universal: thin your forest. This is especially true in northern Idaho, where forests frequently become overstocked. Thinning and pruning can favor better adapted tree species, improve tree quality, reduce fire risk, improve access, and enhance many other values.
Forestry Shortcourse offered in Sandpoint, Wednesday mornings, June-July, 2018


Many Idaho forest landowners desire a better understanding of how forests grow and how they can better manage their forest property to meet their goals. Furthermore, forest landowners are often required to demonstrate planned, active forest management to qualify for lower forestry property tax rates and cost-share assistance for management activities such as thinning.

This summer, a 6-session program, titled the Forestry Shortcourse, will help enrich forest landowners’ understanding of forest ecology, silviculture, forest health, wildlife habitat, and other forestry topics. In the process, participants are coached by natural resource professionals on how to develop a management plan for their forest.


For more information on specific sessions in the series, contact Chris Schnepf at (208) 446-1680


“Forest Insect & Disease Field Day” to be held July 27th in Sandpoint


Forest Health Updates, Idaho Department of Lands

Pine Slash and Bark Beetles – Tom Eckberg. Entomologist

In the middle of winter, we don’t often think about bark beetle problems, but when you have ponderosa or lodgepole pine, you need to consider the pine engraver, Ips pini. This is a very common bark beetle that has the potential to cause problems in the late spring and summer, but the problems often start in the winter. Due to access and logistical issues at sawmills, pine stands that are in lower elevations are often harvested in the winter or spring. During the cooler times of year, pine log decks do not have as many problems with staining due to the symbiotic blue stain fungi that bark beetles transmit. While this is a valid concern, untreated pine slash created in the winter and spring can cause unwanted mortality the following summer if precautions are not taken.

Pine engraver prefers to breed in fresh pine slash >3” in diameter, such as topwood and cull logs; branches are usually not a problem. When slash piles are created in the winter or spring, it will be green and is infested by overwintering beetles which emerge from the duff or from beneath bark of dead trees when temperatures reach about 60O F. Since this species has 2-3 generations per year, the next flight of beetles emerges about six weeks the piles are first attacked (usually June). If the beetles cannot find fresh slash, they will attack standing trees. Mortality usually occurs in dense stands of small diameter trees, often in close proximity to slash piles. During the last two years, we have seen three or a partial third generation in the Coeur d’Alene area where two generations is the norm.

If you create slash in the winter or spring, it’s almost a certainty that pine engraver will find it, so if pine harvest or management activity occurs during this time, you should take precautions to treat the slash. The idea is to make the slash unavailable or unattractive to the beetles, and can be accomplished by lopping it into smaller pieces and scattering it to aid drying. Using the slash as a mat for equipment will remove the bark and destroy the food source for the beetles. Removing as much topwood as possible, either as sawlogs or as pulp is an excellent option where markets allow. Burning pine slash as you go also removes the problem, if it can be done safely and where regulations allow.

Leaving small pine slash piles or log decks in a stand to be burned in the fall is a recipe for tree mortality. The piles will get infested, dry out and emerging beetles will attack nearby standing trees. If there are landing piles that won’t be burned, try to leave long butts, cull logs and topwood at the bottom and space the piles throughout the stand. These larger piles tend to stay green longer and beetles will reinfest the piles. This technique has been successful, but failures occur during droughts and hot summers.

The best advice is to NOT create slash during the winter and spring, but if this is unavoidable, take precautions to prevent unwanted “thinning” by the pine engraver.


Same site in July before slash pile is burnt and later in November after the pile was burned. Note the beetle activity throughout the understory.


Events to Highlight

March 25-27, 2018 – Family Forest Landowners & Managers Conference and Exposition, Moscow, ID

March 26, 2018 – Idaho Tree Farm Program Annual Meeting, Moscow, ID

April 19, 2018 – Idaho Tree Farm     Committee Meeting, CDA, ID


Welcome New Members!


The Idaho Tree Farm Committee extends a special welcome to the 26 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
Joseph Gamon 19 Bonner Van Smith
Joan Spencer 374 Bonner Tim Kyllo
Leonard Wood – Ely Place Tree Farm 80 Bonner Tim Kyllo
Gary & Debra Little 156 Kootenai Tim Kyllo
SPG Tree Farm #2 160 Kootenai Tim Kyllo
Wuennecke Jachetta Road Tree Farm 12 Bonner Tim Kyllo
Wuennecke Dufort Road Tree Farm 30 Bonner Tim Kyllo
PRLC Frost Peak 2 300 Kootenai Tim Kyllo
Mary Strom Bernard 30 Bonner Tim Kyllo
Teresa Highsmith 11 Bonner Tim Kyllo
Steve Wood Colburn Tree Farm 157 Bonner Tim Kyllo
Steve Wood Center Valley Tree Farm 28 Bonner Tim Kyllo
Steve Wood Gold Creek Tree Farm 40 Bonner Tim Kyllo
Steve Wood Grouse Creek Tree Farm 10 Bonner Tim Kyllo
Steve Wood Grouse Ck Rd Tree Farm 40 Bonner Tim Kyllo
Thomas Mackey 42 Boundary Russ Hegedus
Richard Dombrowski 100 Kootenai Meghan McEldery
Banks Family Trust 72 Bonner Doug Bradetich
Janet Hume 130 Bonner Mike Wolcott
Jacob Soni 10 Bonner Doug Bradetich
Brian Hooker 25 Kootenai Tim Kyllo
Fernan Lake Tree Farm 10 Kootenai Tim Kyllo
Dennine Fatato 29 Kootenai Tim Kyllo
McFaddan Tree Farm 11 Kootenai Tim Kyllo
Patrick Santy 19 Kootenai Dennis Parent
Dale Hutchings 26 Ada Tim Kennedy



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.



We’re on the Web!

Learn more at:


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).


We look forward to seeing you at our annual meeting in Moscow.

Think Spring!






Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.