Starker Forests takes sustainability seriously. Our forestland is tended with the future in mind and we grow more than we harvest. Our over 89,000 acres of forestlands are managed with the vision that the land will grow forests forever. Our forests include a wide variety of ages. As stewards for actively managed, working forests, we do not manage our forests/timberlands to become old growth. It is our objective to harvest as much as we grow in the future.
Approximately 500,000 to 600,000 seedlings are planted each year on our newly harvested ground. Seedlings are usually planted within one year of harvest. While the most common native tree species harvested and planted on our ownership is Douglas-fir, we currently plant a mixture of three to five species into all of our harvest units. The mixture changes as we move inland from the coast and as we go up in elevation. This gives us a variety of options to meet our reforestation goals and match seedlings to our specific site needs. We use a total of 10 different species, seven are conifers and three are hardwoods.
Soil is our basic resource. Without soil, water, and sunshine, the plants in our forest wouldn’t grow. Soil is one of the factors that determine how well the trees grow. With proper road construction and maintenance and by maintaining a healthy amount of organic matter in our soil we are able to minimize soil erosion.
Starker Forests is home to a wide variety of wildlife species, from common animals like deer and elk, to less common species such as the red tree vole or the Fender’s Blue Butterfly. By managing for a variety of forest types, from clearcuts to mature timber, we provide a variety of habitats suitable for many species. Starker Forests works to protect sensitive habitat areas, and where possible we take steps to enhance them for the species that are present. We work with a certified wildlife biologist to ensure that the way we use our forests can make a positive impact on wildlife.
In Oregon, the highest quality water comes directly from forestlands. Modern forest management is different from the past. Today’s methods use cable logging systems to pull logs to roads on the top of the ridge, away from streams and wet areas. Advancements in logging systems and road construction and maintenance have greatly helped to minimize erosion and keep water in our watersheds clean. Forestry best management practices (BMP’s) are used to protect water quality during timber harvests and other forest management activities.
Starker Forests is certified by the American Tree Farm System. This means we are committed to “getting more good forestry on more acres, and keeping it there” by following sustainable forest management practices and technique.
ATFS certification validates and recognizes owners are committed to doing their best for their land and managing the forests for long-term health.
All certified family forest owners have a management plan that addresses air, water, soil quality, wildlife, special sites, invasive species and integrated pest management. Properties are inspected by ATFS trained foresters to ensure that land management activities are up to standards.