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Exploring Positive Forest Pathways; a Report from the Field

For over 170 years, Peter Hayes’ family have developed deep relationships with forests. Hayes can track his forestry heritage back to 1848, where his great, great grandfather worked in the forests and sawmills of the Adirondack Mountains. Seven generations later, his family now owns and cares for three working forests in the northern Oregon Coast Range on the flanks of the Tillamook State Forests.

These forests have experienced centuries of human use and activity, but by using “positive impact forestry methods”, the family’s goal is to “grow ecologically complex, yet economically viable, and responsibly operated forests.”  To achieve these goals Hyla Woods, the family owned business, demonstrates you can restore and sustain forest ecosystems for a wide range of species benefits while still being profitable enough to sustain both owners and workers. At the core of their business model is the drive to influence people to “treat nature based on what is right to do (ethics) not only on what they have the power to do.”  And all while putting the forest, and its health, first.

On Wednesday, February 21st in the second in this year’s Listening to the Land speaker series, the Necanicum Watershed Council invites Peter Hayes to share some of the lessons he and his family have learned over the years, as they search for “hopeful models of forest stewardship and grower-consumer partnerships that lead to enriched forests and sustained people”.

Listening to the Land is a monthly winter speaker series offered January through May and presented by the Necanicum Watershed Council in partnership with the Seaside Public Library. This year’s theme will explore “living on our dynamic coastal edge.” Presentations are held the 3rd Wednesday of every month, January through May. Presentations starts at 6pm at the Seaside Library, 1131 Broadway St, Seaside, OR. Doors open at 5:30pm. Events are free and open to the public.