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Linn County tree farmers recognized for excellence
(L-R) Charlie Krebs (USDA Forest Service Region Six staff), Jim Cota, Scott Melcher, State Forester of Oregon Marvin Brown. Not pictured: Robbie Melcher


November 23, 2009
Contact: Kevin Weeks, (503) 945-7427
 
The purpose behind the Fun Forest Tree Farm is in its name. The managers of the Linn County tree farm have been named Oregon’s Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year for 2009. The Oregon Tree Farm System on Monday recognized Jim Cota, Robbie Melcher and Scott Melcher during a ceremony at the World Forestry Center in Portland.
 
Cota and the Melchers operate the 1500-acre forest near Sweet Home. The partnership acquired the land in 1999, replanting many areas previously harvested and in need of tree regeneration. The tree farm, growing a mix of mostly conifers, in addition to wood production provides recreation services such as camping, ATV trails and fishing sites.
 
The farm also places a focus on outreach and education to the central Linn County region, including working with Sweet Home High School on redeveloping a forestry program for students.
 
“It’s a fun place to be,” said Jim Cota. “I especially hope kids can come here and develop the same love for the land that I have.”
 
Cota said the farm also sought out the technical assistance of the Oregon Department of Forestry for establishing fire ponds to make water accessible in remote areas of the tree farm, thus lowering the potential for a catastrophic fire at Fun Forest.
 
Local chapters of the Oregon Small Woodlands Association select the County Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year in Oregon. The Oregon winner is selected by a team of professional foresters from the public and private sectors.
 
The Oregon Department of Forestry, an active partner of the Oregon Tree Farm System, helps landowners manage their forestlands to ensure that family-owned tree farms achieve economic, environmental and social benefits.
 
More information on the Oregon Tree Farm System is available at www.otfs.org.
 
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Photo (Left-Right): Charlie Krebs (USDA Forest Service Region Six staff), Jim Cota, Scott Melcher, State Forester of Oregon Marvin Brown. Not pictured: Robbie Melcher