Summer 2017 Tree Farmer Newsletter


Washington Tree Farm Program News

Summer 2017

Letter from the Chair:
Tammie Perreault 
There is no story more important than that of our 2017 Tree Farmer of the Year Family. The Kingsbury Family, a multi-generation Tree Farm, epitomizes the work we all do for sustainable forestry. I hope you will take a moment to read more about them below and to click here and see their beautiful Tree Farm.

Two other nominees, Ruth Heft and Michael Hurley are equally inspirational. You can visit their Tree Farms virtually here: Ruth Heft and here: Michael Hurley.

The Tree Farmer of the Year program isn’t possible without Tree Farmers willing to throw their hat in the ring for recognition. If you or a fellow tree farmer you know are is interested in being recognized, having a beautiful video produced, and sharing your story, please contact Elizabeth Ide and she will arrange for you to be part of the nomination process.

A big thank you to Washington Farm Forestry Association (WFFA), who graciously allows us to hold our annual awards luncheon during their meeting.

Sometimes I get questions about the difference between WFFA and Washington Tree Farm Program—at the end of this newsletter (and here) is an article that discusses those differences.

The Crystal Lake Tree Farm (the 2001 Washington State Tree Farm of the Year) put on a wonderful field day. Ron Munro did a amazing job sharing the story of Crystal Lake.

I’ll be out with my trees working on an EQIP and CREP project for the rest of the summer. If you are interested in learning more about these programs contact your local Conservation District or NRCS office or give me a call or email and I would be happy to fill you in on how we got involved.

Remember the 2015-2020 standards are available. You can contact Elizabeth to have a copy sent to you. You can download a copy here or send an email to to have a copy mailed to you.

As always, if you have any questions or recommendations about Washington Tree Farm Program. Please feel free to call me at (360) 515-1340 or email at

Congratulations to 2017 Tree Farmers of the Year

Kingsbury family

Washington State Tree Farm Program Awards Tree Farmer of the Year to the Kingsbury Family’s 5 Springs Tree Farm


This year marks 50th anniversary of the Kingsbury family’s 5 Springs Tree Farm being certified by the American Tree Farm System to deliver the multiple objectives of promoting wildlife habitat, providing recreational opportunities, and generating revenue through timber harvests. In recognition of their stewardship, the Washington Tree Farm Program (WTFP) recognized the Kingsbury family as their 2017 Tree Farmer of the Year.

“The Kingsbury family is the ideal family to represent Washington State as the Tree Farmer of the Year with their active management and family involvement while protecting resources and being engaged with their neighbors,” said Ryan Sandstrom, Coordinator of the WTFP’s Tree Farmer of the Year nomination committee.

The 100-acre 5 Springs Tree Farm is located near Olalla, just outside of Gig Harbor. John Kingsbury, a former Washington State Department of Natural Resources forester, founded the tree farm, and his four children continue to build upon his legacy in managing the tree farm. The majority of their forestland is a mixed-species forest of Douglas fir, western red cedar, and red alder, and they also grow u-cut Christmas trees. In addition to the family enjoying the tree farm for its scenic beauty, local neighbors are frequently welcomed onto their property to hike or birdwatch.

For Daniel Kingsbury, receiving the award just reinforced their holistic management approach. “As a small family forest landowner, we don’t tree farm to win an award,” he said. “We do it because we are trying to do the right thing, and it just so happens when you’re noticed and awarded for doing the right thing, it’s kind of humbling.”

The Kingsbury family received the award at the annual Washington Farm Forestry Association meeting on May 5, 2017. Accepting the award were John and two sons Daniel and Doug. In 1993, the Kingsbury family was also recognized as Tree Farmers of the Year by the their local Washington Farm Forestry Association chapter.

“Recognizing the work of small forest landowners is crucial because these landowners own and protect the greatest percentage of forestland in our State,” said Tammie Perreault, Chair of the Washington Tree Farm Program. “By sustainably managing their forestland, they help protect everything that Washingtonians care about—fish, water quality, and wildlife.”

The Washington Tree Farm Program administers the certification of over 400,000 acres of forestland under The American Tree Farm System® (ATFS), a program of the American Forest Foundation. ATFS is the largest and oldest sustainable woodland system in the United States, internationally recognized, meeting strict third-party certification standards. As part of the certification process, each state participating in the ATFS recognizes one of its members as Tree Farmer of the Year. A national winner will be selected by the American Forest Foundation at its annual leadership conference in spring 2018.

For more information, contact Tammie Perreault at or 360-515-1340.

2017 Inspector of the Year

Boyd Norton, Washington State DNR, named Inspector of the Year
At the 2017 annual Washington Tree Farm Program awards luncheon in Bothell Washington, Boyd Norton, NW Washington Stewardship Forester for the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, was awarded 2017 Outstanding Inspector of the Year. During his forty plus years with the department, whether as a Generalist, Forest Practice Forester/Farm Forester, Fire Prevention/Stewardship Forester, Small Forest Landowner Office Forester and his current stewardship position in the Forest Practices Division, Boyd has been involved with private forest landowners.  For over 20 years Boyd has been a inspector with Washington Tree Farm Program and has completed over 85 inspections. Many of these inspections were new certifications, which usually require more time helping the tree farmer. Tom Westergreen 2016 inspector of the Year says: “You do not have this kind of dedication for the tree farm program if you are not completely committed to helping family forest owners. “

Fall Forestry Seminar

2017 Annual Fall Forestry Educational Seminar will be held September 29th, 2017 at the Cowlitz Regional Conference Center in Longview, WA. This will be an exciting event with the focus on Forest Health.  This all day event includes a wide range of topics of invasive species, insect concerns and even monitoring using drones, we will also have a catered lunch and vendors to round out this informative day. To see the full agenda and registration please click here


Thank You for everyone who participated in our survey and congratulations to:

Paul Thibodaux
Jon Matson
Robert Barker
Mort Robbins
Darrell Drummond

As they were randomly selected to win a copy of American Canopy by Eric Rutkow or Native Trees of Western Washington by Kevin Zobrist

Tree Farmers and Teachers: Using Family Forest for Student Field Experiences

Ever wanted to share your passion for your tree farm with students in your local community, but didn’t know how or where to start?  Pacific Education Institute (PEI) through their Project Learning Tree (PLT) Program is bringing tree farmers and teachers together for a one-day workshopAugust 2, 2017 to experience PLT lessons for students to do when they visit your forest site along with lessons to prepare students for their forest visit.  Further, experience investigations students can do on your forestland and how to support students in understanding what their data means.Project Learning Tree is a National Program of the American Forest Foundation. The Project Learning Tree guides are a great resource for lessons to use with students to learn about forests. There are engaging lessons that address what a forest is, why forests are important, what products we get from forests, and how forests are managed. Find out more about National PLT at
Tree Farmers will receive:

  • Hands-on experience with lessons to make a Tree Farm visit a success
  • Project Learning Tree preK-8 Guide or Project Learning Tree Focus on Forests Guide
  • Student Journal examples

To register use this link:

Denise Buck
Program & Operations Director

Washington Tree Farm Program and Washington Farm Forestry Association…what’s the difference? 

With many of the same members and such similar names, it’s no wonder that Washington Farm Forestry Association and Washington Tree Farm Program are often confused. Both organizations focus on promoting sustainable forestry for small forest landowners—so what is the difference between these two non-profits?

What is Washington Tree Farm Program all about? Washington Tree Farm Program is the State level program of American Tree Farm System (ATFS)—this is where the term “tree farmer” originated over 75 years ago. Nowadays, we use the term more generically to refer to anyone who has a small woodlot and is growing trees.

If you are part of the Washington Tree Farm Program you are a “Certified Tree Farmer.” This means that you have a written management plan and a forester has come out to your property (usually every five years) to ensure you are meeting the American Tree Farm System standards.

By meeting these standards, the timber you produce meets international Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) standards. Certification provides assurance to mills and consumers that the timber products they buy are from a sustainable, well-managed forest. As a Certified Tree Farmer, you are eligible to display the green and white sign and compete for Tree Farmer of the Year recognition.

What does Washington Tree Farm Program do?
•    Implements American Tree Farm System (ATFS) certification on the ground in Washington State—conducts inspections and manages the certification system.
•    Administers the Tree Farmer of the Year Recognition Program—provides special awards and puts together an annual luncheon program to recognize the best Certified Tree Farmers in the State.
•    Provides access to the resources of American Tree Farm System and provides educational opportunities and outreach—for example, in 2017 we will once again hold the Fall Forestry Seminar on the Columbia River in Vancouver.
•    Partners with other organizations to promote sustainable forestry across Washington State.

Who are the people behind Washington Tree Farm Program?
WTFP only has one part-time staff, our Program Administrator, Elizabeth Ide. If you are a Certified Tree Farmer than you have had one of our 100+ volunteer inspectors come out and visit your Tree Farm to conduct an inspection. In addition to inspectors, we have several core volunteers that conduct our Tree Farmer recognition program, put out communications, and coordinate the state-wide requirements to remain a certified state.

If you belong to both WFFA and Washington Tree Farm Program, you hear much less from Washington State Tree Farm program because Tree Farm has significantly fewer staff and resources than WFFA. However, you should be getting regular emails from American Tree Farm System and you can follow us over on Facebook.

How does Washington Tree Farm Program work?
Washington Tree Farm Program does not charge dues. We receive about 25% of our funding from ATFA, our national umbrella organization, otherwise we depend on financial support from our members and local organizations to complete our work. We are a volunteer dependent organization having completed over 2500 hours of volunteer time in 2016.

Several years ago, Washington had the option of remaining a “Certified” State or becoming a “Recognition” state. We chose to remain a “Certified” State—this means we will go through regular external audits (we had one in 2015) by professional auditor such as Price, Waterhouse Cooper. In addition to being ready for this regular audit process, we also must pay a fee to keep our certification credentials beginning in 2018. This fee will be $7000 per year for the first three years and will be renegotiated after that.

We are a stand-alone organization with our own State Committee. We hold quarterly board meetings, usually in Olympia, that are open to anyone to attend. Washington Tree Farm Program doesn’t keep a regular office, but we are always available by contacting Elizabeth at (360) 602-1603,  or myself at (360) 515-1340 or

What does this mean for you as a tree farmer?
If you aren’t Certified, we would like for you to become part of the Washington Tree Farm Program. Give Elizabeth a call or email and we will work on getting you matched up with a volunteer inspector.

If you are a Certified Tree Farmer, please consider how you can help sustain Washington Tree Farm Program. Your volunteer time or a donation will go a long way to help us ensure that our program continues to provide Certification and Recognition for Washington Tree Farmers for years to come.

Upcoming Events

We have many great events lined up in 2017. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and visit to find out more. Washington Tree Farm Program Quarterly Meetings
October 12th, 2017
Please email for information. Everyone is Welcome!

Pacific Education Institute workshop
Bringing tree farmers and teachers together to gain knowledge, skills and tools.
August 2nd, 2017

WSU Field Days and Coached Planning

Fall Forestry Seminar!
The best educational event for small landowners is returning to Longview, WA September 29th 2017
Fall Forestry Registration

Join us in Washington D.C., American Forest Foundation Advocacy Day
October 3-4

If you have questions, suggestions, or comments about this newsletter, please contact Elizabeth Ide at or 360-602-1603.
If you have interest in volunteering with Washington Tree Farm Program’s committee, please send a letter of interest/qualifications to the address below.
Washington Tree Farm Program
P.O. Box 1814
Olympia, WA 98507

Copyright © *If you have questions, suggestions, or comments about this newsletter, please contact Elizabeth Ide Email: Phone: 360-602-1603.
If you have interest in volunteering with Washington Tree Farm Program’s committee, please send a letter of interest/qualifications to the address below.
Washington Tree Farm Program
P.O. Box 1814
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