Duane Weston | Working Forests --- Yes!

What's your connection to the land?

Small forest landowner and semi-retired professional forester. I consider myself a sustainable forest land steward.

What actions have you taken as a steward that you're most proud of and/or that you feel have made the biggest difference? 

During my working career, I had the opportunity to work on several thousand acres of western Washington forestland that had naturally re-established with a dukes mixture of tree species (second-growth forest) following the harvest of the natural old-growth forest that was up to 600 or more years old in age. The old growth forest had been removed between years 1895 and 1930.

My career has involved overseeing the harvesting of the second growth forest when economically merchantable and converting this land back into managed plantations of Douglas fir, western hemlock and western red cedar which is now termed the third-growth forest. This new forest and succeeding forests will scientifically and sustainably be managed over time as long as financially profitable for the owners to produce wood, water, wildlife, and recreation. There is a huge added benefit in maintaining a sustainably managed forestland for society.

Growing trees consume and store carbon from the air we breath which in turn improves our air quality. When harvested these trees containing tons of carbon are converted into wood products which are shipped and used for constructing buildings throughout the world. The carbon that is not released back into the atmosphere but is stored in the buildings constructed. The harvested land gets reforested and the new growing forest starts the carbon sequestering process all over again.

What’s your hope for the next 75 years?And/or what advice do you have for those next 75 years? 

My hope for the next 75 years and beyond is that western Washington will find a way for landowners to retain and scientifically manage working forests on as much public and private forestland as possible. Doing so will provide healthy forests, quality rural jobs, clean the air we breathe, an environment that will yield clean water, abundant wildlife and opportunities for a variety of societal recreation. Western Washington has some of the most productive forestland soils in the world. This land needs to be kept in sustainable forest resource production for many generations.

Who are you?

  • Name: Duane Weston
  • Where is home? Arlington, WA
  • Where are you from? Over 50 years ago -----Spokane, WA