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At this summer's annual Seedling to Sawmill Teacher's Tour, FT&F Program Development Coordinator Lindsay Reaves shares information from the Oregon Forest Resources Institute on Service Learning in Oregon Forests.


Retired Florence teacher Dave Rankin talks about the issues facing small woodland owners on our 2010 Teacher Tour.


Former State Senator and nationally honored tree farmer Bob Kintigh teacher the teachers from the Summer Institute during a specialty tour on a hot July afternoon at his Mountain Home Ranch east of Springfield.

Forestry Education for Teachers

Seedling to Sawmill Teacher Tour with The Summer Institute

Each July for the past six years, FT&F has teamed up with The Summer Institute, which is an international organization offering one-week teacher certification courses in Eugene each July. Through this partnership, we provide 20 to 40 Oregon teachers with a Seedling to Sawmill forestry tour.

Over the years, we've taken them into our family and industrial forests, our mills, our seed orchards and our tree farms. In 2012 the tour included the Bauman Tree Farm and the Seneca Jones Cogeneration Plant. The tours are an opportunity for our educators to meet the people who can answer their questions, or provide the resources for learning more.

At the tree farm, owner Tom Bauman gave the inquisitive group an over-view of life as family tree farmer, and FT&F Program Development Coordinator Lindsay Reaves shared information, tools and resources from the Oregon Forest Resources Institute on Service Learning in Oregon Forests. Senior Forester Bill Wynkoop of Seneca-Jones Timber Company fielded questions on industrial forestry and the Forest Practice Act. Participants included elementary, middle and high school educators, teaching science, math, social studies, special education and Spanish. They consistently evaluate the day as highly worthy, informative and worth repeating.

The following are a few of the questions asked and answered during the 2012 Teacher Tour: Who makes the rules? Who sits on the State Board of Forestry? How does the logging process work? How much gets exported to Japan, and who is doing it? How does the timber market work? Do you sell to Lane Forest Products? Is there any old growth on the property? What happens to the small trees? What is the impact of invasive species on Oregon forests? Do you spray herbicides? When? What is the impact of wildlife on saplings? What is the free-to-grow concept? What is the benefit of cable logging? What is a commercial thin? Do you thin at different times? Where does your stream originate? What kind of volume do Oregon Forests produce annually? What are these trees worth? What do you do for income when you can't log? Do you measure the water quality? How is the job market for kids interested in forestry? And… How can I bring my students out here?

This year, the Seedling to Sawmill Teacher Tour will take area educators on visit to the Swanson Bros. Mill at Noti, one of the oldest family mills in Lane County. They will also stop at the Oregon Department of Forestry in Veneta for an introduction to forest management and the Oregon Forest Practice Act, before traveling to the Bauman Family Tree Farm to explore various timber management goals and reforestation, along with ways to use the forest as a teaching model for various subjects. An introduction to the Forest Field Day program is included.

Project Learning Tree (PLT) Workshops

Project Learning Tree is a multi-disciplinary environmental program offering forest-specific workshops through the Oregon State University College of Forestry’s Oregon Natural Resource Program and the Oregon Forest Resources Institute. The workshops meet state and national education standards and emphasize critical thinking and problem solving skills. Participants receive the Project Learning Tree Activity Guide and a number of teaching resources. PLT events are held in various counties throughout the school year, and early registration is recommended. Substitute reimbursement funds are available if attended during a teaching day. More information is available by contacting Susan Sahnow at OSU, (541)737-3005, or by visiting www.cof.orst.edu/cof/extended/ofep

Teacher on Summer Assignment (TOSA)

In this “learn-as-you-go” program offered by the Oregon Forest Resource Institute, teachers spend six summer weeks working with company or agency mentors on paid forest management and environmental monitoring assignments. Participants will receive a first-hand look at how science, math and other subjects are applied by forestry professionals in the workplace. Responsibilities may include performing wildlife inventories, watershed assessments, stream surveys and measurement of tree growth in research plots. Participating teachers are paid and may earn credit. Applications are available in March. For more information, visit the OFRI Web site at www.oregonforests.org.

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