2011 MWM Excellence Awards, Part 1

By: Nicole Strong, MWM Coordinator, OSU Extension Service

One of my favorite parts of being MWM Coordinator is getting to hear about all the neat ways in which MWM volunteers use their expertise in their communities. We have so many wonderful stories and recipients of awards this year that we cannot share them all in one Gazette! We will be sharing a few stories every edition. If you get a chance, please congratulate your
local award recipients. And don’t forget to share your stories, you cannot be recognized if we do not know
what you are up to.

Benton/Linn Counties
From OSU Extension Forester Rick Fletcher

Goods From the Local Woods/Tree Seedling Sale
Sherm and Fay Sallee, Mary Brendle, Aaron White                                                                                                                          Linn County MWM’s have been leading the charge to conduct an annual tree seedling sale to provide hard to find trees for people living in the rural-urban interface in the mid-Valley area. The event generates more than $4,000 per year in income that is used for youth scholarships- some for high school youth to attend forestry summer camp and some for college scholarships for Linn County youth to pursue careers in natural resources. For 2011, the seedling sale took on a new flavor as Mary Brendle and Aaron White helped organize the first ever “Goods from the Local Woods” sale, featuring wood products from local tree farms. The initial offering of this event drew 24 vendors and over 500 community participants, many of whom left with armloads of local specialty wood for various home and hobby projects. This event was a huge success and is being planned for 2012.

Eastern Oregon Study Tour                                                                                                                                                       Greg Vollmer
MWM Greg Vollmer worked alongside Rick Fletcher to put together a 5 day forestry study tour of eastern Oregon forests and forestry for 25 of his peers. Greg was in charge of many of the logistics and even spent a couple of extra days doing a pre-tour visit to the
sites. Greg is also full partner in local educational programs, setting up tours and meetings for the Benton Small Woodlands Association and teaming with fellow MWM Mike Albrecht to host a woodland owner discussion group for 10-12 local family owners.

Business Training for Young Contractors
Van Decker
MWM Van Decker has been very active in the local community ensuring that the next generation of loggers is well trained. Seeing a lack of programming being offered by OSU Extension in this area, Van took it upon himself to schedule training sessions in the
Philomath area for young forestry contractors to help them become more successful business owners.

Marion, Yamhill, and Polk Counties
From OSU Extension Forester Brad Withrow-Robinson

Marion County: Claudia Beville, my star reporter.

Yamhill County: John Smith, who did journeyman’s duty on referrals while I was on sabbatical.

Polk County: John Westall and Pat Wheeler, together they reported 713 contacts, 247 hours last year.

Polk County: Sarah Deumling reported 642 contacts and 166 hours, including countless hours on the Committee for Family Forestland.

Team Award: Women Owning Woodlands Network
Anne Walton, Sarah Deumling, Susan Watkins, Dina Nuxoll
This group of volunteers improves community access to forestry information. They are an informal but effective network that recognizes that not all landowners are motivated by the love of paint or sawdust, but understands the importance of those and
other management tools in shaping their woodlands. The Marion/Polk/Yamhill cell of the Women Owning Woodlands Network has been among the most active and effective in the State, bringing women of a wide range of interests, management skill and commitment levels together over the past few years. The group helps members expand their understanding, skill and role in the family forest landowner community as capable managers and leaders.

Jackson and Josephine Counties
From OSU Extension Forester Max Bennett

Bill Potterf
My nominee is Bill Potterf, an MWM since 2008. Bill and his family own 80 acres near the town of Rogue River. They received a rude introduction to southern Oregon forestry issues in 1992 when most of their property burned in 10,000 acre wildfire. Since then
they have planted thousands of trees and battled the brush in an effort to reclaim the site as a forest. Bill’s friendliness and boundless enthusiasm for woodland management are infectious. He is a tireless recruiter for the local small woodlands chapter and
for Extension and is responsible for bringing many new owners into the fold. Bill has hosted numerous tours of his own property and has played key roles in many Extension educational programs, from Tree School to the basic forestry short course. He is a “can do” type of person who isn’t afraid to corral others for volunteer duty. He has twice served as the Jackson/Josephine Small Woodlands president and would receive my vote for president for life if such as position were available. Thanks, Bill, it has been a pleasure working with you.

Douglas County
From OSU Extension Forester Steve Bowers

Sue Butkus
Sue works at the Elkton Community Education Center. We use this excellent venue for educational opportunities courtesy of Sue. Her and her husband, Walt, are also active with the county chapter of the Small Woodlands Association. More importantly, she
is an annual volunteer for our Tree School Umpqua, heading registrations and much of the catering logistics. And most importantly is the fact Sue is provides a steady and continual support both to the agent’s well-being: a continual happy demeanor, positive attitude and a perfect example why we value our active volunteers…..it makes the job easier.


More awardees will featured in the Winter edition.