ELLENSBURG – The Washington Farm Forestry Association will hold its annual meeting on May 29-30 at Ellensburg and Cle Elum.
 
The May 29 portion of the meeting will be held at the Kittitas Valley Event Center in Ellensburg. A field day at the Wanechek Tree Farm just east of Cle Elum is scheduled the following day.
 
Friday begins with general membership business meeting of the association followed with a welcome by Kittitas County Commissioner Alan Crankovich and comments by Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark, who will discuss his position on the value of small business farms and forests to the state.
 
The Friday morning session will also include a presentation by the University of Washington’s Rural Technology Initiative on the Forestland Data Set Project. The goal of the data set project, which is supported by WFFA and the Family Forest Foundation, is to better understand where family forests are located and who owns them. The data base project reveals there are over 89,000 family forest owners in the State owning 10 acres or more of forest land.
 
The Friday luncheon will feature the Washington Tree Farm Program’s Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year awards followed by an inter-active panel of four experts presenting on the “The Basics of Growing Forest Trees: What do I need to know?” Bring your questions.
 
The Friday evening WFFA Awards Banquet, catered by Cascade Mountain Grilling, will feature a presentation on the history of Glacial Lake Missoula and its immense flood that shaped Washington state geology by Karl Lillquist, professor of geography and land studies at Central Washington.
 
A field day is scheduled the following day on the Wanechek Tree Farm just east of Cle Elum. The field day will feature presentations on forest soils stewardship, the historic influence of fire on forest ecosystems and a tree judging contest, where participants will be given an opportunity to sharpen their knowledge and skills judging tree health criteria. Participants will also be given opportunity to estimate tree density and other tree measurements on a sample plot in a stand of ponderosa pine. Prizes will be awarded for the closest estimate. The event will feature a barbecue lunch catered by the Ellensburg High School FFA.
 
The event is cosponsored by WSU Extension and open to the public. It should be of interest to anybody who owns forestland in Washington State. Online registration is encouraged at www.westernforestry.org. For more information about WFFA visit www.wafarmforestry.com.