Forests and Wildlife: Responding to Change

2017 Joint Washington State SAF and the Washington Chapter of The Wildlife Society Annual Meeting

WSSAF 2017 Annual Meeting Logo

March 28-31, 2017

Yakima Convention Center

The Washington State Society of American Foresters is proud to announce that it will hold its annual meeting on March 28-31, 2017, at the Yakima Convention Center and neighboring Red Lion Inn.

With 300 days of sun and a recent $9 million revitalization in downtowm, Yakima charms visitors with new sidewalks, flower baskets, vintage-style light posts, and new wineries, spas, restaurants, and shopping.

Call for Papers: The meeting offers WSSAF and TWS members the opportunity to share presentations and posters. Selected papers and invited speakers will be used to develop the meeting program. Please consider submitting an abstract on any applied or formal research or work that you believe would be worth sharing. 

IGNITE Presentations: Want to present at the conference, but do  not want to prepare a full presentation or poster? Then consider presenting at the IGNITE session on Thursday, March 30. These short and to-the-point talks provide a great platform for people to quickly share project updates, notes from the field, or other important topics that don’t require a full 20-minute presentation. IGNITE presentations are exactly five minutes and contain exactly 20 slides. The slides advance automatically after each slide is displayed for 15 seconds. To participate, submit your name, talk title, and 2-3 sentence abstract to with the subject line IGNITE.

Tuesday, March 28
Optional pre-meeting workshops (see below for detailed descriptions)

9:00 a,m. – 12:00 p.m. Concurrent Sessions

  • Session A: Developing forest stewardship programsKen Bevis, WA DNR
  • Session B: Alternatives to lead bullets for big game hunting – CANCELLED, but if you are interested in this topic, it will be covered in two sessions during the conference: (1) Wednesday, March 29 at 9:10 a.m. in the Hot Topics session; and (2) Thursday, March 30 at 3:30 p.m. in the Ignite Talks.

1:00 PM – 4:30 PM Concurrent Sessions

  • Session C: Timber harvest contracts and complianceTom Hanson, Arborinfo, Lynnwood, WA, Loren Hiner, City of Montesano, WA, and John Walkowiak, Tacoma Power, WA
  • Session D: Forest wetlands: identification and management Bill Vogel, USFWS, Olympia, WA, Sabra Hull, WA DNR, Dave Parks, WA DNR, and Leha Beckett, NWIFC, Olympia, WA

Wednesday, March 29

Organization Meetings

9:00 AM – 12:00 PM: WSSAF Executive Committee 

10:00 AM – 11:30 AM: WA Chapter of the Wildlife Executive Committee

9:00 AM – 12:00 PM: Hot Topics for Washington State Wildlife

  • Copper bullets and outreach – Leland Brown, Oregon Zoo
  • Survival of elk with hoof rot – Kristen Mansfield, WDFW
  • White-nose syndrome in bats – Katherine Haman, WDFW
  • Animal damage control in Washington State – Laurence Shafer, USDA APHIS
  • Eel grass, dikes, and waterfowl management – Kyle Spragens, WDFW
  • Management of Olympic mountain goats – Richard Harris, WDFW, and Patti Happe, ONP
  • Grizzly bear reintroduction – Jack Oeflke, NPS

12:00 PM – 1:15 PM: Lunch on your own

1:20 PM – 3:20 PM: Concurrent Technical Sessions

Forest and Ecological Integrity

  • Introduction – Rod Pfeifle, WDFW, Ellensburg, WA
  • Ecological integrity and historic stand conditions – Richy Harrod, Region 6, USFS
  • Insects and pathogens – Connie Mehmel, Region 6, USFS
  • Historical fire ecology of Inland NW forests and implications for management – Paul Hessburg, USFS
  • Prescribed fire: When, where, & costs – Matt Eberline, WDFW

Forest Certification

  • SFI forest certification – Julie Stangell, Stangell Consulting
  • American Tree Farm System for Small Landowners – Tammie Perreault, WA Tree Farm Committee
  • Experience with dual forest certification – Terry Cundy, Potlatch Corporation 
  • DNR forest certification – Allen Estep, WA DNR

Predator/Prey Relations

  • Peregrine hunting and scavenging strategies – Dan Varland, Coastal Raptors, and Joe Buchanan, WDFW
  • Cougar kill rates on mule deer and white-tailed deer – Dr. Robert Wielgus, WSU    
  • Orca prey relations – Brad Hanson, NOAA NW Fisheries Science Center
  • Livestock depredation rates in WA State – Jeff Browns and Dr. Robert Wielgus, WSU 

Break with exhibitors 

3:40 PM – 5:00 PM: Concurrent Technical Sessions

Forest Restoration

  • Restoration thinning and the ICO approach – Derek Churchill, Stewardship Forestry & Science
  • Forest restoration projects and the Carlton Complex – David Peterson, USFS  

Timber Markets

  • PNW opportunities and challenges – Joel Swanton, Forest2Market
  • Bundling ecosystem services to increase forestland values – Dr. Robert Deal, USFS PNW
  • Asian demand for prime DF and western hemlock – Dr. William Schlosser, Lewis-Clark State College 


  • Wolf kills and prey selection in WA – Gabe Spence, WSU
  • Indirect effects of wolves on livestock – Azzurra Valerio, WSU
  • Wolves and livestock depredation risks in WA – Zoe Hanley, WSU
  • Experiences with recovering wolves in Northern Rocky Mountains – TBD  

5:00 PM – 6:00 PM: Student Mentoring Sessions/Visit with Exhibitors 

6:00 PM – 9:00 PM: Hosted Reception, Poster Session, and Photo Contest

7:30 PM – 9:00 PM: Student Quiz Bowl 

Thursday, March 30

8:00 AM – 8:15 AM: Formal Opening and Tribal Blessing

8:15 AM – 10:00 AM: Plenary Session: “Forest and Wildlife Responding to Change” 

Five speakers will address our meeting theme from their experience and knowledge highlighting cooperation, conflict, and opportunities in managing issues where wildlife and forestry intersect. We welcome:  

  • Phil Rigdon, Yakama Nation, Director of Natural Resources
  • Kelly McAllister, WA DOT
  • Jason Spadaro, President, SDS Lumbar  

Break with exhibitors 

10:15 AM – 12:00 PM: 

  • Jordan Rash, Forterra
  • Kelly Lawrence, Naches District Ranger, USFS Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest

12:00 PM – 1:15 PM: Luncheon Buffet and Speaker Hillary Franz, Commissioner of Public Lands 

1:20 PM – 3:20 PM: Concurrent Technical Sessions

Forestry and Wildlife Research in Washington 

  • Vulnerability of wildlife habitat to climate change in central Oregon – P. Singleton, USFS PNW
  • Climate change vulnerability assessments and adaptation planning – J. Halofsky, UW and D.L. Peterson, USFS PNW 
  • A framework for assessing future wildlife habitat by integrating DGVM projections, species-habitat associations, and current stressors – M. Case, UW, P. Singleton, J. Kim, and B. Kerns, USFS PNW
  • Wildfires as catalysts of change in forest structures and composition in the interior PNW – Dave Peterson, USFS PNW
  • Challenges of Marketing Timber in Central WA – M. Rasmussen, Mason, Bruce, & Girard, Inc.

Thinning for Wildlife: Late and Early Seral Habitats

  • Introduction – Bill Vogel, USFWS
  • Early seral habitats – Dr. Mark Swanson, WSU
  • Lewis River elk – Kendal Emmerson, PacifiCorp
  • Lynx and thinning – Scott Fisher, WA DNR
  • Fuels and wildlife – Ken Bevis, WA DNR 

IGNITE TALKS: 5-minute talks (speakers TBA)

Break with exhibitors 

3:40 PM – 5:00 PM: Concurrent Technical Sessions

Thinning for Wildlife: Late and Early Seral Habitats 

  • Variable density thinning and thinning for wildlife on national forests – Kevin Senderak, USFS
  • Thinning for high-quality wood and economics – J. Bailey and C. Whiston, Port Blakely Tree Farms 
  • Snag initiative – Jeff Kozma, Yakama Indian Nation   

IGNITE TALKS: 5-minute talks (speakers TBA)

5:00 PM – 6:00 PM: No-Host Social Mixer/Visit with Exhibitors

6:00 PM – 8:30 PM: Awards Banquet (not included in registration fee; separate ticketed item)

Friday, March 31

6:30 AM – 9:00 AM: Concurrent Membership Breakfast Business Meetings 

  • Washington State SAF – Forestry and WACDs – Bob Schroeter, Exec. Director, WACD
  • The Wildlife Society Washington Chapter  

Concurrent Events

9:00 AM – 12:00 PM: The Wildlife Society Contributed Technical Papers

10:30 AM – 2:30 PM: WSSAF Field Tour: Central Washington Small Forest Landowner Stewardship and Restoration Tour. Come learn about small forest landowner stewardship and restoration efforts along the Yakima River. Speakers will include forest landowners Bill and Rick Hundley, who will explain their efforts and plans to implement forestry restoration on their property and how technical assistance from forestry consultant Phil Hess and the EQIP program have provided opportunities to improve forest health and reduce fuels. Learn about the conservation easement program from Kittitas Land Trust staff and see restoration challenges along the Yakima River. Plenty of free parking is available, and lunch and beverages are included in the registration.   

Workshop Details

Session A:              Developing Forest Stewardship Plans
Time:                      8:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Organizers:             Ken Bevis, WDNR
Cost:                       $25.00/person
Participants:           10-100

This workshop will cover the essentials of preparing a forest stewardship plan.  It will address the necessary baseline information, consideration of landowner desires and constraints, and opportunities to address healthy forests and wildlife.  It will describe the basic process including templates and agency guidance, including recent updates in guidance. 

Session B:           CANCELLEDAlternatives to Lead bullets for Big Game Hunting

This workshop has been cancelled, but If you are interested in this topic, it will be covered in two sessions during the conference: (1) Wednesday, March 29 at 9:10 a.m. in the Hot Topics session; and (2) Thursday, March 30 at 3:30 p.m. in the Ignite Talks. 

Session C:            Timber Harvest Contracts and Compliance
Time:                    1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Organizers:           Tom Hanson, ArborInfo LLC, Loren Hiner, City of Montesano and John Walkowiak, Tacoma Power
Cost:                     $25.00/person
Participants:         10 to 25

This workshop will cover the basics of written contracts regarding timber stand improvement (TSI), timber harvest and sale.  It will also cover mechanisms for ensuring that operations are conducted according to plans, state and local regulations and provide enforcement options.

Session D:           Forested Wetlands:  Identification and Management
Time:                   1:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Organizers:          Bill Vogel, USFWS; Sabra Hull, WDNR; Dave Parks, WDNR; Leah Beckett, NWIFC; and Marty Mauney, WDNR
Cost:                    $25.00/person
Participants:         10 to 50

This workshop will cover the basics of using hydrology, vegetation, and soils to identify wetlands.  It will focus on practical identification for forest practices purposes in the field.  It will also discuss the need for special management as well as how certain entities are managing forested wetlands.  Common challenges and opportunities will be discussed.


WSSAF Member ($190 early-bird) and student ($40) registration fee includes attendance at all meeting sessions, refreshments, icebreaker, Thursday lunch and Friday breakfast. One-day registration fees are available for either Wednesday, 3/29 or Thursday, 3/30 ($90 early-bird). Additionally, four pre-conference workshops are offered on Tuesday, 3/28 ($25 each). The Thursday night banquet ($40) and a Friday field trip ($25) are both separate ticketed items, please sign up on online registration system. A full array of options is available for spouses/guests.

The early-bird deadline is March 14. After this date, an additional fee is assessed. Purchase orders, Visa/MasterCard/American Express are accepted. Checks should be made payable to WSSAF. Tax id# is 23-7065210.


Cancellations received by March 14 are subject to a 15% service charge. Cancellations after March 14 will be charged the full registration fee, but substitutions are always welcome. 


A limited number of rooms (occupancy up to four persons) are available at the Red Lion Inn for the nights of March 28, 29, and 30, at $89/night plus tax. Lodging includes free parking and Wi-Fi. The special room rate expires on March 14. After this date rooms will be made available to other visitors at the prevailing rate. For reservations, go to the Red Lion site here or call 844-248-7467 and mention “American Forestry and Wildlife Meeting.” To reach the Red Lion Yakima Convention Center directly, call 509-248-5900. 

Student lodging support is available for the annual meeting and is available to both forestry and wildlife students.


Companies, organizations, agencies, and individuals are invited to be conference sponsors.  Financial support at any level is appreciated.  For additional information, contact Tom Hanson.

Click here for the sponsor Pledge Form

Click here for Sponsor FAQ

Vendor Opportunity

If your organization would like to exhibit at the annual meeting, information is available here. The exhibitor fee is $250 and includes vendor booth and complimentary registration that includes the Wednesday evening reception and Thursday lunch. If you would like to attend the Thursday evening Banquet or the Friday field trip, the cost is an additional $25/person each. 

Raffle to Support the WSSAF Foundation

This year’s annual meeting will feature a raffle to support the WSSAF Foundation. This Foundation was created to provide scholarships for forestry students and support other forestry education projects. If you can bring a donation for the raffle (e.g., clothing, product, etc.) it would be greatly appreciated.  

For additional information, contact Hannah Morrison.

Continuing Education Credits 

SAF CFE Hours: This event qualifies for up to 20 Category 1 CFE Credits. 


John Walkowiak

Wendy Sammarco

Annual Meeting Flyer (PDF)


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