The New family, David and Dar New, and their daughter’s family, Jennifer and Jeff Parker and their sons, are owners of the Nourse Family Tree Farm in Bellingham, Washington. The 165-acre property has been in Dar’s family for three generations.
The New family began their stewardship journey with no formal forestry background or extensive financial resources, yet they knew they wanted to care for the land sustainably. Diving in head first, they hired a forester to help them write a forest management plan, took landowner education classes and spent nearly all their weekends at their property. Their hard work paid off. In 2015, the News were certified by the Washington state Tree Farm Program.
One fall, the News noticed a run of Coho salmon that had become stranded in a field, due to ditched tributary that had been made into pastureland in the 1950’s. The News were familiar with the heritage of the salmon species that had been in decline due to habitat loss, fragmentation and development. The species is listed as threatened or endangered in nearly three-fourths of Washington State.
The New family decided they wanted to restore the stream, knowing they would need to overcome costs, time and expertise to complete the work.
The News sought out resources to assist them. With the Snohomish Conservation District (SCD), David leveraged his engineering background to design the stream channel. The SCD helped the News apply for an easement and find other grants to cover costs. The channel was constructed in August 2016, followed by the planting of 3,000 trees along the 30 acres of stream bank to prevent erosion and filter and clean the water. The SCD, Washington Conservation Corps crews, community volunteers, and school groups helped to complete the work. Today, the News are able to walk the stream and watch the salmon navigate through the channel successfully.
The New family went above and beyond the call of duty for conservation. As such, the American Tree Farm System is pleased to announce the New family are the 2019 Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year!
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