Sustainable Forestry

Making the best use of forest resources doesn’t have to mean damaging the environment or endangering the species that need a healthy ecosystem in which to thrive.

Harvesting smaller logs helps reduce the potentially devastating effects of natural calamities like disease, fire and insect infestation. Thinning crowded stands, improves tree spacing, and helps eliminate potentially hazardous fiber that can increase the danger of fire and disease, allowing the trees that remain a healthy environment in which to grow.

Another important aspect the Vaagen approach is known as optimal resource utilization. Simply put, the goal is to make the best use of as much of the harvested log as possible. Bark, chipped logs and other wood fiber are processed and utilized in the paper and landscaping industries. These products also help to create green energy that provides electricity to the region as fuel for Avista Utilities’ wood waste generating plant in Kettle Falls, Washington.

By helping to sustain the forest, Vaagen Brothers Lumber is supporting both a healthy, growing business — and the communities and customers that rely on it. Making the best use of each log and doing what’s best for the forest itself, helps to perpetuate a cycle that’s endlessly renewable and offers benefits to all.

Environment Guardianship

Vaagen Brothers Lumber regularly stands on the same side of forest issues as environmental groups.  We work with government and legislative groups on initiatives to protect and improve our forest lands through active stewardship.

Forest health is the crux of the Vaagen Brothers operation. Collaboration was the driving force behind the Northeast Washington Forestry Coalition, a group dedicated to strengthening lines of communication between all land stakeholders. The Coalition works hard to strengthen forest health, public safety, and community economic vitality.

Stewardship Projects

At Vaagen Brothers, we’re dedicated to the conservation of our region’s forests and wild lands. That’s why our company and its people are deeply involved in forest stewardship at every level — from our mountain trails to the halls of government. It’s our goal to be an integral part of helping to make our public lands healthier, better suited to resist catastrophic fires, support diverse wildlife habitat, and make the forest accessible and usable to the public.

Our goal is to help care for our forests in a sustainable manner that will keep them productive and healthy for generations to come. Stewardship projects represent important steps in that direction. With threats like the Mountain Pine Beetle approaching our area at an alarming rate the forests need our help more than ever. Through sustainable stewardship, we’ve taken important steps to be part of the solution.

Deadman Stewardship Project :

The Deadman Stewardship Project is located in the Colville National Forest on the west side of the river near Kettle Falls and covers 7,320 acres. The project is pursuing a number of objectives through the implementation a variety of practices and prescriptions. They include: improving fire resilience as this sale lies near many urban homes and will act as a natural firebreak. Grinding slash piles will aid in the removal of an estimated 7,425 tons of slash from the forest floor after the harvest has been completed. In addition, the project calls for the construction of over 50,000 feet of fire-line to protect the area from wild fire. Finally, we plan pre-commercial thinning on 562 acres along with 15 acres of noxious weed control.

Finn Stewardship Project :

The Finn Stewardship Project is located on the Colville National Forest north of Colville near Meadow Lake and involves 1,231 acres of fuels reduction. The plan calls for the treatment of 53 landing and the removal of slash piles that will be converted into hog fuel by our grinder. In addition, we’ll be removing hazardous fuels from 9 acres of hand piling slash.

Geophysical Stewardship Project :

The Geophysical Stewardship Project is located on the Colville National Forest in the Newport ranger district and covers a total of 569 acres. There are 12 acres of pre-commercial thinning, 9 acres of tree pruning and 40 acres of tree release cutting. There are also 50 acres of noxious weed treatment and 38 acres of mastication.

KRN Stewardship Project 1&2 :

There are two KRN Stewardship Projects, both located in the Kootenai National Forest in the Libby ranger district combining over 1,250 acres most of which require fuels reduction. Our plan is to complete 2.5 miles of road stabilization as well.

Malo East Lake Stewardship Project :

The Quartzite Stewardship Project is located on the Colville National Forest near Chewelah and covers around 2,819 acres. There are 42 acres of slash treatment, road construction and reconstruction, as well as the Cottonwood Bridge reconstruction. This is a fuels reduction treatment plan that reduces the risk of catastrophic wildfire near the urban interface.

Rogers Stewardship Project :

The Rogers Stewardship Project is located on the Colville National Forest north of Colville on Rogers Mountain that encompasses around 4,800 acres. There are 1,325 acres of ladder fuels reduction, 50 acres of grinding slash and 54 acres of pre-commercial thinning.

Scotchman Stewardship Project :

The Scotchman Stewardship Project is located on the Colville National Forest in the Sullivan Lake ranger district and covers 300 acres in its entirety. 74 acres of the project will be treated for noxious weeds; another 551 acres will be treated with a masticator. There are also 179 acres of pre-commercial thinning and 6.3 miles of machine fire line and fuel break. In addition there are an estimated 7,000 tons of slash to be processed by the grinder.

Snow-Way Stewardship Project :

The Snow-Way Stewardship Project is located on the Idaho Panhandle National Forest in the Bonners Ferry ranger district and includes 1685 acres. The project calls for 565 acres of leave tree protection treatment as well as 5.5 miles of noxious weed management.

Vulcan Stewardship Project :

The Vulcan Stewardship Project is a 6,700-acre project located in the Colville National Forest just west of Curlew. There are an estimated 4,000 tons of slash to be processed by the grinder. In addition, trees have been marked to leave larger diameter trees standing.