Monday, October 8, 2012

Public Input Requested on the Trillium Community Forest Management Plan

 The Whidbey Camano Land Trust is holding a public workshop on Wednesday, October 24 at 6 pm at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Whidbey Island to receive public comment on the draft Management Plan for the Trillium Community Forest. 

Click the following links to read the Plan (note: the document has been broken into two pdfs to keep the files smaller)....  Trillium Community Forest Management Plan and Appendices

Sign-in begins at 5:45 pm, followed by a brief overview of the Plan. The majority of the evening is dedicated to hearing from the community.

The Trillium Community Forest was protected by the Whidbey Camano Land Trust after a grassroots campaign successfully raised much of the money needed to acquire it.  The vision for the Community Forest is a healthy forest ecosystem which supports a vibrant native wildlife community where people experience the wonders of nature.

The Unitarian Church is located at 20103 State Route 525, 2 miles north of Freeland. If you can’t make the workshop, you can still provide comments by emailing them to Jessica Larson at

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Bring on the cars!

The days of trying to squeeze into one of the three parking spots along HWY 525 is over. There is now fourteen spaces for vehicles to park. Fifteen volunteers spent Saturday morning accomplishing a whole laundry list of tasks that included installing an entrance sign, moving the kiosk to it's permanent home, building a split-rail fence and creating parking spaces! For more pictures of the work party check out our facebook page (the photo album called Community Forest Work Party - April 14th).

This parking lot is for vehicles only, we'll be working on a parking lot to hold trailers in the future. Also just a reminder, the Forest is only open during daylight hours, which we have lots of right now! So enjoy a new parking area and make sure to take some time to go out for a hike! Help us by carrying out your trash and keeping the new parking area clean. Thanks!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Restorations, Plans, Oh My!

It has been a longgggg time since I've posted and I apologize. Lots of things happening at the office. I do have good news to report! Our restoration thinning project is complete for 2012! Here are a couple photos...


We have opened up the forest in this first phase of restoration. This is a process so there will be more to come. Visitors are welcome to come back to the forest as all trails are open.

On that note...please be aware of trail conditions as some trails are still muddy with all of this rain! I was starting to feel like a duck until this weekend. :)

We are hard at work on the Management Plan for the forest. Look forward to a notice of an upcoming public workshop and having the Plan posted online.

I'll be posting more soon so stay tuned!

Monday, January 30, 2012


Our restoration thinning crew is working hard to help improve the forest so that it provides better wildlife habitat.

Above is one of the piles of small suppressed trees removed from the forest. By reducing the number of trees per acre we are allowing for the remaining trees to thrive and for the understory to begin to establish.

A tree ring says a thousand words! Notice how large the space between rings were and then as it became too crowded in the forest the tree becomes stressed and grows much more slowly resulting in very little space between rings.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Snow, deer, restoration

It is an exciting week for Trillium Forest. I went out to the woods Monday to go over the last minute logistics for our upcoming forest restoration project. They are out there now helping to improve forest habitat conditions.

On my way to the site I was lucky enough to spot two deer. One was slipping along on the ice that was on the road, so cute! The road is slick so if you are enjoying a winter walk please be careful out there.

The forest restoration is beginning today so you may see logging trucks and other equipment associated with our thinning project. I hope they stay warm! Stay tuned for pictures of the project in progress as we open up one of our dense forest stands.

Monday, January 9, 2012

A Walk in the Woods

A sunny Sunday means the perfect day to finish up the sign installation and photo-documentation of our upcoming restoration thinning project.
This is a typical image of the 60 acre forest stand that we are preparing to thin. Notice how close the Douglas fir trees are and how there is no understory vegetation. Not the best wildlife habitat.

Now that is some pretty understory! This is within our wetland buffer, no cutting will occur in this area.

More dense trees without understory. These are all Douglas firs that are approximately 22 years old, some are only a few inches in diameter due to the lack of nutrients, light, and carbon dioxide available.

Now that is more like it! Would you be surprised to know this is the same forest! Yep, we have some big trees in Trillium, this forest stand was previously thinned and has the nice lush understory that we are looking for. There will be no cutting in this area.

So now you have had the quick tour of our restoration thinning project and you didn't have to get dirty or bloody traveling through the forest. You're welcome. :)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy New Year!

Can you believe it is already 2012! Time has flown. We've been hard at work here in the office, I've even got to go out in the field a couple times!

The biggest Trillium news for this grand new year....restoration projects! We are moving forward on the forest restoration thinning. Our forest practice application is approved and our contracts are almost complete.

Thinning will take place from January 16 to February 29. The end date may change based on weather and site conditions though. Expect about six weeks if all things go smoothly.

We are keeping the property open to users during this time. However, the trails in the thinning area (marked in green on the map below) will be closed Monday - Friday. Logging trucks will be using the main road so please move out of the way of any vehicles when you are out in the forest.

This is a great project and I'm very excited about being able to improve forest health and create even better wildlife habitat. The Trillium stewardship webpage talks more about thinning.

We are hoping to learn a lot from this test thin. Some of my learning objectives include:
  • Logistics for thinning operations and recreational users (signs, notices, etc)
  • How do our forest stands 'respond' to thinning
  • How does the public feel about forest restoration projects
  • Road infrastructure impacts
  • Wildlife usage changes (before, during, after)
  • Many, many more... :)
Easy to say we are going to get a lot of great things from this project, I'll keep all of you up to date.

On a more humorous note. I set up the boundary flagging (which I mentioned in a previous post). Well, what I didn't say is what a bugger it was to get it all placed! Talk about a dense forest! I did forest inventory for two summers in college and this ranks as one of my most time consuming transects (or maybe I'm just rusty). But I got to see more of the forest and look forward to seeing how it will look after the thinning.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

More Flagging...

Those of you who are regulars out at Trillium may notice some new flagging along one of the trails. We are preparing for the first forest restoration thinning and are marking the boundaries. To see more detail on the our thinning project visit the Trillium Stewardship Page

Below are a couple pictures to show the flagging that you'll see around.

This 'Timber Harvest Boundary' marks the outer boundary of our 60-acre thinning area.

Here is one of our 'Wetland Delineation' markers. We have 100' and 50' buffers on the two small wetland patches and seasonal streams. These will be no-touch areas during the thinning.

So now when someone asks you...what is that flagging for? You'll know! Look forward to hearing more about this exciting restoration project.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Hunting Reminder...

Morning folks,

Just a quick reminder to everyone that the late hunting season has started. Trillium will be open to deer hunting between November 17th - December 11th. During that time the property is closed to all other users. Thanks to everyone for abiding by our interim rules.

It's cold, rainy, and windy today. Which means I'm going to stay warm in cozy in the office, no field visits for me. The goal for today - finish the draft copy of the permitted uses paper. Wish me luck!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Thanks Backcountry Horsemen!

A big thanks to all the volunteers that came out to help with trails on November 5th. Eleven folks helped to clean up some of the overgrown trails. Always great to partner with organizations that are committed to the continued stewardship of this great forest!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Take a Moment...

One of the great things about daylight savings is that I can now go for morning runs in Trillium! It was a beautiful brisk morning, perfect for a nice woodland run. I spend so much time inspecting and monitoring Trillium for problems that it is so nice to just get a chance to enjoy.

So that's my advice for the day...take a moment and enjoy! Go for a walk on the beach or in the woods and just take a deep breath. We are lucky enough to have so many places to "recharge", lets make use of them.

Now back to the management plan! Good thing I got my run in this morning, I'm a desk jockey today. :)


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Work Party with the Backcountry Hoarsemen!

The weather is looking good today! Let's hope it holds out for this weekend. On Saturday the Backcountry Horsemen are leading a work party to do some trail maintenance, feel free to join in the fun! - Notice is below...

Important Work Party in The Trillium Community Forest

This Work Party is organized by Island County Chapter -Backcountry Horsemen (others welcome)

This is the gate where the sign was mounted showing progress for raising funds, it is South of Classic Rd but North of the turn off Hwy 525 to Mutiny Bay Rd.

I have heard from the following BCH members: Deb R., Becky, Paula and Tim, Ann L.,  Mary C., Linda R., and Diane D.  I could still probably use a couple more helpers, also could use a few 4H kids with rakes to remove what we trim from the trails. Call my cell if lost that day 206-730-2519 and email me if you have questions

WHAT:  We will be cutting down some small trees to remove "knee knockers", cutting branches up high that are "sweepers" for horse riders and LOTS on salal from the middle section of the trail. 

HOW: I have two gas fired hedge trimmers (owned by BCH) that will work great on the salal, need several more people with weekeaters, two small chain saws (I will bring one), a couple of extendable handle pole pruners for high up branches and lots of hands.

We will be let through the two locked gates, one at thehighway and another gate about 1/4 mile in at end of the asphalt road at the "upper road"/trail. We will drive on in with our vehicles and divide into two teams going in at both ENDS of that trail, hoping to "meet in the middle" and do so WITHIN two hours IF we have enough of a crew.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Trillium Hunting Season

If you want to hike, bike, or horse ride in Trillium, make sure to do so today or tomorrow. Starting October 15th until October 28th Trillium will be open to hunting and closed to all other users. This gives our hunters a chance to use the property and help control our deer population. Please respect the use restrictions during this time. I'll definitely appreciate it! :)

If you have questions contact me at and if  you have any good stories about your hunt feel free to send that on to me as well. This is our year of testing things out so I would love to know how people think the process and timing worked.

I know a million people read my epic blog so just to let everyone know you will still see me out on the property during this time, stewardship never rests! :)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Happy Anniversary!

Today is a great day. It is the one year anniversary of the protection the wonderful Trillium Community Forest. Everyone in the community should give themselves a huge pat on the back for all of their good deeds.

Some of our awesome volunteers walking in the Maxwelton Parade spreading the word, last July!

To celebrate, go ahead and take a strol through the woods! Walk, bike, or ride a horse through the peaceful forest. We even have sunny weather for it.


Friday, August 26, 2011

Death of a Tansy...

Not to be confused with Death of a Salesman. This is an equally epic tale of four courageous volunteers taking on an impossible foe! This is not a made for TV movie, instead it is today’s Trillium success. Our volunteers braved the sunny weather and attacked the invasive species in Trillium. With great results! Below you will see a before and after shot of one of our many tansy patches!



As I mentioned in my previous post, tansy is poisonous, so not a great thing for our horses visiting the property to be munching on. Huge thanks to Paul, Grant, Rob and Bob for spending the morning with me out in the woods to make it a safer place for all!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Summer rain and Work Party!

Trillium enjoyed a nice summer sprinkling yesterday. Good for all of our vegetation. Today is an in-office day for this girl, I will look longingly out the window...But the management plan writing is going great. Also as a breaking news flash...look forward to hear what our plan is for the 2011 hunting season, which will be posted soon!

Tomorrow morning from 9-12 is our monthly Trillium work party! Join us out on the land for some super invasive removal!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

"Hoo" is at Trillium?

Early morning visit to Trillium to check on trail conditions leads to a traveling companion...

Barred owl perched on a branch along the main trail.

One of our resident barred owls decided to follow my explorations. On two seperate occasions this morning I spotted movement in the trees, so I pull out the camera and snap some shots. Since I'm used to shooting trees and trails these days a moving target was quite the challenge, but I did manage to get a couple of worthwhile pics. Beautiful bird, you'll most likely see one flying away from the noise, but if you're lucky you'll get to see one perched and observing you. I wonder what he's thinking?

Another (or was I followed by the same?) barred owl in an alder stand.
 Trillium is home to an abundance of wildlife. These owls are just one example of one of the many species that now have a safe place thanks to the efforts by the community to protect this property. Way to go!!

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Good, The Bad, and The Yummy

I was out at Trillium over the weekend for my run and it was glorious. I had the trails all to myself in the morning. Here is a brief report of my observations (and the very grainy pictures taken from my cell phone)...

The Good...

Our wetlands are looking very nice indeed. No more standing water, but our wetland plants are still as lush as ever!

The Bad.....<insert scary sound effect>

Tansy has crept its way into the property. You might think it is pretty with its yellow flowers and dainty leaves, but don't let it fool you! It is a Class B invasive plant in Washington State and is toxic if ingested by livestock. So next time you are on the trail and you see these plants, pull to your hearts content. They are easy to remove by hand and you will have my eternal gratitude!

"Pull us...we're bad for nature!"

The Yummy...

The berries are out at Trillium! I spotted salmonberry, thimbleberry, black cap, and creeping blackberry on my run. All native and all delicious! But remember we are sharing with the wildlife, so only take a couple. Sharing is caring!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Got Trails?

I love to hike. Simple statement, but so true. Which makes helping with the trail system analysis for Trillium that much more exciting for me. Today was filled with slope analysis, trail ratings, and potential trail connection and upgrade projects. Next time you are out in the woods, shoot me an email about your favorite trail. This pic was taken just north of intersection G, beautiful!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Planning is all about the little things...

No field visits for me today. It is all about the paperwork. The focus for today? Continuing work on the trail analysis, ADA options analysis, and revising our timeline. Lots of things to look forward to! Then onto issue papers for vegetation management, hydrology, interpretive opportunities, special use requests, and much much more. We will leave no stone unturned in our planning process!

I've included one of the photos from yesterday's trip to the woods. Can you believe how lush the forest is looking? So many shades of brilliant green, crayola would be so jealous!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Trails anyone?

The best part of my job? Getting to spend the morning out in nature! Two hours inventorying trail conditions for our trail analysis. A girl and her GPS, what more can you want! Took lots of photos and as an added bonus I saw 5 deer, 2 owls, 3 hawks and a partridge in a pear tree! Okay, the last one was a bit of a stretch, but I did see all of the others and heard a plethora of other birds. Now back in the office to map out the problem areas and start analyzing the data.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The journey continues...

You know you are in the 21st century when a Forest has its own blog. I plan on making these posts as entertaining and painless as possible. You'll get first hand knowledge of what is going on in the planning and management process.

Have you journeyed to our forest today? If you have a fun story about the Trillium Community Forest send it to me at and I will post it online. We love to hear about adventures into the forest. I will try to post as many as I can, so keep an eye out.