The Oregon Tree Farm System has announced that Gordon and Gail Culbertson have been named Oregon’s 2019 Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year. Their efforts were honored recently during an annual awards luncheon at The Oregon Garden in Silverton.
The Culbertson’s’ 72-acre property is in the Coast Range of Lane County about halfway between Eugene and Florence. The Culbertson’s are being recognized for their multiple-use management of the land. Both Gordon and Gail came from farming families. They purchased the property in 2007 so that they could, along with their children and grandchildren, stay connected to the land and the rewards that come from working the land to produce products.
Gordon has worked in the forestry sector for 50 years and has used his knowledge to improve the health of variously aged forests. The couple’s goals include income, family recreation, and wildlife. Toward these goals, the Culbertson’s have worked to reduce tree diseases, thin trees, improve bird habitat and eliminate invasive plant species, such as scotch broom, Japanese knotweed, and Himalayan blackberry.
The Oregon Tree Farm System also recognized five other family forest landowners for their exceptional, sustainable forestry management. The other honorees were:
- K.C. Thompson, Sid Picht and Diana Blakney (Benton County)
- Alan, Rob, Don, Gary and Tim Guttridge (Clackamas County)
- Tim and Kathy Otis (Linn County)
- Ernie and Linda Rieben (Washington County)
- Harry and Bonnie Roberson (Yamhill County)
For 53 years, the Oregon Tree Farm System has recognized family forest landowners who provide forest benefits and products using sound forestry management principles. There are approximately 700 landowners in the Oregon Tree Farm System managing 746,000 acres. This is 21 percent of Oregon’s 3.6 million acres of family forestlands.
Nationwide there are 74,000 members in the American Tree Farm System. ATFS and its state chapters operate an internationally recognized forest certification program overseen by and for family forest landowners to promote sustainable forest management through education, recognition, and assistance.
OTFS and the Oregon Department of Forestry share the goal of family forest landowners voluntarily improving the health of their forests. Both provide assistance in the development of forest management plans using a jointly developed plan template.
For more information on the Oregon Tree Farm System, visit www.otfs.org.