When we take care of the forest, the forest takes care of us.

Old growth stand at Chamberlin Creek, Mendocino County, CA

 
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 Our Purpose

RESTORE FORESTS TO VIBRANT FIRE RESILIENT ECOSYSTEMS FOR THE health of the planet BENEFIting HUMAN AND WILDLIFE COMMUNITIES.

THIN SMALL DIAMETER TREES TO UNBURDEN FORESTS OF CATASTROPHIC FIRE FUEL LOADS FOR STABLE and DIVERSE habitats and LONG-RANGE CARBON SEQUESTERING.

Utilization and Sales of SMALL POLES, the abundant byproduct of forest restoration and A superior BUILDING MATERIAL FOR FIRE-SAFE HOUSING.

The good use of an abundant byproduct

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The Forest Reciprocity Group is about turning an environmental challenge into an economic, ecologic and social opportunity.

 
 

LISTEN:

KMUD features FRG Pole Raising event, Tuesday, June 4, 2019 7:00 pm

The Environment Show features FRG and small pole utilization! Click this text and find Tuesday, June 4, 2019 7:00 pm! Thanks Duff!!

 

LISTEN:

FRG featured on KZYX

Listen to Sarah Reith’s piece: What Can Be Done With Forest Thinnings? inspired by FRG’s recent presentation in Willits!

 
 

FRG Pole Raising featured in Willits Weekly Real Estate Section

 
 
Susan Barger a builder from Covelo, and CalFire battalion chiefs Dino Rogers from Laytonville and Alex Leonard from Fort Bragg were among the participants.

Susan Barger a builder from Covelo, and CalFire battalion chiefs Dino Rogers from Laytonville and Alex Leonard from Fort Bragg were among the participants.

 
 

“I was drawn to the event because it’s a way of making healthier forests, safer conditions for all of us, and there’s a potential for low-cost housing materials we have available here,” Third District Supervisor, John Haschak said. He added that he wants to develop low-income and senior housing and likes the ideas presented by the Forest Reciprocity Group. Continue reading…

 
 
 
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Background

There is widespread science based agreement among native land management practitioners, watershed & forest ecologists, and sustainable forestry professionals, about the need for renewed stewardship practices in the tragic wake of clear cut harvesting of forest lands and the loss of ancient traditional low intensity fire management. The overburden of fire fuel loads has been steadily increasing and understory regeneration has largely gone unchecked. A high density of Douglas fir stands are the predominant first succession species form clear cuts. Over competition for light, water, space, and nutrients as has lead to weakened forests, loss of diversity, and abundant small and dead wood. 

 

Today’s wildfires are ascending into devastating crown and canopy fires, taking down the taller mother trees. Prior to European colonization of the Americas, indigenous peoples tended the forestland of California in many ways including the use of low intensity controlled burns. “These controlled fires were part of the environmental cycles and maintenance of wildlife habitats that sustained the people's cultures and economies. What was initially perceived by colonists as ‘untouched, pristine’ wilderness in North America, was actually the cumulative result of these occasional, managed fires creating an intentional mosaic of grasslands and forests across North America, sustained and managed by the original Peoples of the landbase.” (Native American use of fire in ecosystems, Wikipedia) The reintroduction of prescribed burns prevent overgrowth of the forest’s understory, allowing more water and nutrients for the healthy bigger trees, and fostering habitat for the species dependent upon fire to regenerate. Today’s catastrophic wildfires burn entire forests while diminishing California’s largest source of carbon sequestration, pumping massive amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere.

 
CCC with CalFire chipping small thinned trees.

CCC with CalFire chipping small thinned trees.

There are several solutions to improved forest management that include the reintroduction of fire with prescribed burns and the thinning of fire fuel loads of small diameter trees.

CalFire, BLM, and the Forest Service thin overburdened forests of dead and small wood yet with a universal frustration of nothing to do with the massive amount of useful materials. Currently the round wood is stacked and burned as waste or chipped for mulch at best.

 

This burden is our solution.

 
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A beautiful and sturdy building material…

 
 
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The suppressed growth of ailing Douglas fir creates extremely strong, “tight ring” small diameter poles, that can be used as beautiful, superior structural and architectural elements. 

These poles exceed the tensile strength of milled lumber, with uncut continuous fibers running their entire length. Encased in natural fire resistant clay based plasters, these structures have proven to be exceptionally impervious to wildfires and are in compliance with CalFire’s Urban Forestland Interface standards. This is a marked advance from lower quality, loose ringed stick lumber that has been sourced through extractive methods, and too often combined with toxic and highly flammable materials we see in the mainstream dwellings.

 
 
 
 

Goals

 

01.
Restorative Forestry

FRG’s forest stewardship standards are guided by traditional Indigenous practices and restoration standards to improve forest structure and watershed health, to regain canopy integrity…

02.
Carbon sequestration

98% of California forestland (nearly 50% of which is privately owned) is recovering from clear-cut forestry, which is still legal on private lands and widely practiced. Much of that forestland is…

03.
fire safe communities

The most efficient, sustainable and intelligent solution for today’s housing needs is the use of small diameter poles, that are selectively thinned to restore forestlands. Small poles are abundant and…

04.
small pole utilization

Small poles have been used as the framework for housing and shelter for millennia in forested areas around the world. In the early years of California’s milled lumber industry, sourced from old…

 
 
 

Revitalized Local Economy

Fuel reduction of small and suppressed growth trees is creating more jobs. Combined with this, the creative adaptability of small pole utilization is generating renewed economic opportunities in home building as well as in the innovative uses of thinned forest materials as biomass for gasification energy units, bio-char and many other meaningful products.

 
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FRG parent organization and sponsors

FRG is an initiative of Cloud Forest Institute, whose mission is to encourage bio-regional endeavors to re-establish balance within ecological systems by way of environmental education, forest reciprocity and resilient community development. FRG was created through the efforts of members of Cloud Forest Institute, Polecraft Solutions and a growing number of concerned individuals.

Financial support has been granted through the  Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment and the Just and Resilient Future Fund of the Another World is Possible Coalition. Further generous support is given by METTA, a global community dedicated to awakening together, whose vision is for the benefits of relational Dhamma to be shared and made available for the world.

 
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