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Harry Merlo honored as Oregon Tree Farmer of the Year
USDA Forest Service deputy regional forester Cal Joyner, Harry Merlo, Acting Oregon State Forester Nancy Hirsch.
Cal Joyner, Harry Merlo, Nancy Hirsch
November 22, 2010
Kevin Weeks   (503) 945-7427
A long-time leader of the forest products industry has been named Oregon’s Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year for 2010. The Oregon Tree Farm System on Monday recognized Harry Merlo during a ceremony at the World Forestry Center in Portland.
Merlo owns and manages the 12,000 acre MC Ranch located about twenty miles southwest of La Grande in Union County. About 8,500 acres of the property is forest, managed with a goal of long term recreational use and sustainable forestry. The forest supports a diverse range of wildlife, including salmon habitat in the 4 ½ miles of the Grande Ronde River that flows through the ranch.
Merlo is recognized within Oregon as a philanthropist and an advocate of forestry education. Merlo founded the World Forest Institute in 1989 and continues to be involved with a diverse range of business ventures.
Photo (Left-Right):  USDA Forest Service deputy regional forester Cal Joyner, Harry Merlo, Acting Oregon State Forester Nancy Hirsch.

MC Ranch - a global forestry classroom
View of the MC Ranch near La Grande; Detail inset shows statistics about WFI project on sign
MC Ranch; inset shows statistics included on sign
Starting in 2005, forest management at the MC Ranch has focused on selective harvests to remove dead and dying beetle-damaged trees.  Several truck loads of woody biomass fuel from the Ranch were provided to the Enterprise School District for use in the District’s innovative forest biomass energy plant.
MC Ranch actively promotes tree farming by hosting tours for the World Forest Institute Fellows from countries around the world. The tours demonstrate Eastern Oregon forestry techniques, and also provide an opportunity for local forestry professionals to share United States forest practice concepts with a global audience.

Oregon Tree Farmer of the Year Awards - a tradition since 1966
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.