Sept 24 Oak Basin tour features timely demonstrations, views and even lunch

Sep 6, 2022 | Author: Larry Mauter, OSWA member | Editor: Gabriel Bradford

Rescheduled from August, the Linn County Small Woodlands Association “tree farmer of the year” walking tour will be Saturday Sept. 24.

Hosting will be the families of Ed and Jim Merzenich at their Oak Basin Tree Farm.

Tour topics will include thinning, reforestation, oak restoration, and noxious weed control. Emphasis will be placed on maintaining native flora for wildlife under changing climatic conditions. Reducing drought stress and managing fuels to reduce wildfire risks by using cattle grazing will also be discussed. Oak Basin contains significant oak and native prairie and is home to the endangered Fender’s blue butterfly.

wood grain

Oak Basin tour registration required by Wednesday, Sept. 21

Date: Saturday Sept. 24, 2022
Time: begins 9:30 am

To register email nicole.masonmartin@oregonstate.edu with your name, contact phone, number attending, and dietary restrictions, or call 541-713-5000.

Directions to Oak Basin:
The address is 35200 Northernwood Drive. To get there travel south on Washburn Street from Brownsville (aka Gap Road) for 5 miles then turn east onto Northernwood Drive. Oak Basin is at the end of the road. Yellow OSWA tour signs will lead the way.

Sign indicating a tree tour ahead.

While serving in 2017 as the LCSWA president, Jim Merzenich summed up the meaning behind the “tree farmer of the year” competition. “It is the responsibility of us as tree farmers to restore our land and show our neighbors that rehabilitation of even the smallest acreages is significant,” he wrote.

The Merzenich family is demonstrating that a viable flow of harvestable timber can be produced from a property, managed for native species protection.

Shane Hetzler of Trout Mountain Forestry will discuss objectives for commercial thinning to be started this fall. Advanced Land Management (ALM Sweet Home) staff will demonstrate masticating brush and small trees in a pre-commercial thinning operation. Tour participants will also view pine stands thinned, masticated, and pruned last year.

This will primarily be a walking tour on established roads. A wagon with benches will be available for individuals with mobility issues. Stunning views of the South Willamette Valley await you on the tour. This is a “Howdy Neighbor” tour sponsored by OSWA and includes catered lunch, snacks and refreshments.

Prospective OSWA members who attend this tour will be offered free membership for the remainder of the year.

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Jim, left, and Ed Merzenich, hosts of 2022 Oak Basin Tree Farm Tour