We’re familiar with the great forests of the Cascades. They anchor much of what we think of as “the Pacific Northwest”: rivers, skiing, hiking, birding, hunting, boating, and timber. Protection of these forests falls substantially to the federal agencies that own them.
But many Pacific Northwesterners may not be aware of the private forests scattered throughout the 4-County area. These smaller holdings, sometimes less than 10 acres, constitute an important piece of local ecology. Smaller patches sometimes provide patches of refuge but more often link each other, and larger patches, into habitat corridors, providing crucial connections for birds and other wildlife. But all forest patches also present an opportunity for forest invaders, like garlic mustard. Our collaboration with private landowners is critical for protecting our large forests and maintaining wildlife corridors.