Washington Tree Farm Program
The New family, owners of the Nourse Tree Farm in Snohomish County, has been named the 2018 Tree Farmer of the Year in Washington.
The Washington Tree Farm Program presented the award at the Washington Farm Forestry Association’s annual meeting.
The New family has a 160-acre tree farm and has owned the land for 75 years. The family has managed the forest for seven years and received American Tree Farm System certification last year, according to a press release.
“To be honest, I was quite surprised to hear that I was receiving the Tree Farmer of the Year award,” David New said in a written statement. “I thought there were people who have been doing this a lot longer than I have.”
New credited Washington State University Forestry Extension and the Washington Farm Forestry Association with helping the family develop a plan and meet stewardship goals.
In partnership with the Snohomish Conservation District, the New family restored more than 30 acres of fish habitat by planting conifers and redirecting a stream. One of the side channels had drained into a grass field, causing spawning salmon to die.
“One of our many goals is restoring fish habitat,” said Ryan Williams, program manager at the conservation district.
Because of the restoration, the Nourse Tree Farm has been an outdoor classroom for school groups and WSU Extension classes. The New family donates firewood to a church that distributes it.
“Their management approach, which incorporates sustainable harvests, wildlife enhancement and recreation, fulfills the spirit of being an American Tree Farm System certified tree farmer,” said Jenny Koth, co-chairwoman of the Washington Tree Farm Program.
The Nourse Tree Farm will have an open house and a tour July 21. More details are available online at watreefarm.org/events.
The Washington Tree Farm Program certifies more than 40,000 acres under the American Tree Farm System, a program of the American Forest Foundation. Each state in the system picks a tree farmer of the year. A national winner will be named at the foundation’s annual leadership conference next spring.