The Washington State University Forestry Club has spent quite a few Saturdays cleaning up trees that were blown down by the recent weather events in Pullman.
“The club members have been acting as general forest stewards of the Steffen Center for a while now and they’ve done a great job of keeping the Center clean and safe,” said Mark Swanson, as assistant professor in the natural resources department at WSU and the club’s faculty advisor.
Club members typically cut down trees broken by wind, remove the limbs and “buck” them into approximately 24-inch pieces that will be split for firewood. The firewood pieces will be split and then dried out for the summer and will be ready to burn next winter.
“It’s nice to get outside and spend time with friends,” said Larissa Pfleeger, a senior forestry major. “I also like using the chainsaws!”
The firewood will be sold to buyers in the spring and fall and the funds will go to the Forestry Club. The club actively participates in events hosted by the Inland Empire Chapter of the Society of American Foresters, and has recently expanded its activities to forest stewardship contracting on private lands. The club has approximately 25 members and has plans to continue its stewardship of the E.H. Steffen Center.
“It’s amazing out here and we want to see it stay that way,” said Brian Lanouette, a junior natural resource major.
The 58-acre E.H. Steffen Center, located on the east edge of campus, is the site of numerous field trials for researchers in the department of natural resource sciences and houses wildlife facilities and pens. The Center is used extensively in the department’s teaching program. The facility is used for a wide variety of elementary forest and range measurement exercises, plant identification and the measurement of habitat quality for various wildlife species.