Whidbey Camano Land TrustStewardship - Trillium Community Forest - Whidbey Camano Land Trust Whidbey Camano Land TrustStewardship - Trillium Community Forest - Whidbey Camano Land Trust

Stewardship - Trillium Community Forest - Whidbey Camano Land Trust

Stewardship Goals

  1. Ensure that the forest is healthy, diverse and progressing toward old-growth
  2. Protect and enhance habitat and connections for native wildlife
  3. Allow public access for non-motorized uses in harmony with nature


Want to hear more stories about Trillium? Click here to visit the Community Forest blog page for brief updates, lots of photos, and interesting tales from the woods.


Update on the Trillium Community Forest Public Use Plan – November 21, 2012

 The Whidbey Camano Land Trust is held its second public workshop on Wednesday, October 24 to receive public comment on the draft Management Plan for the Trillium Community Forest.  Revisions have been made to the documents that had been posted on the website early in October. Click the following links to read the Plan (note: the document has been broken into two pdfs to keep the files smaller)….Trillium Community Forest Public Use Plan and Appendices. Note that responses to the comments provided on the October 24th meeting can be found in Appendix I: Public Comment.

The Trillium Community Forest was protected by the Whidbey Camano Land Trust after a grassroots campaign successfully raised much of the money needed to acquire it.  The vision for the Community Forest is a healthy forest ecosystem which supports a vibrant native wildlife community where people experience the wonders of nature.


2012 Hunting Information
For 2012, the Trillium Community Forest will be open for deer hunting only and closed to all other users from:

  • October 13 – October 31
  • November 15 – November 18
  • November 21 – December 13

No hunting is allowed of any other species at any other time.
Recreationists will not be able to use the property during these late fall time periods.

There are no motorized vehicles allowed on the property, and there are no exceptions for hunters. Hunters are allowed off-trail during the above listed hunting times. These rules are interim and will remain in place until a comprehensive management plan is approved. Signs will be posted out on the property.

The boundaries for hunting can be found in the following map. For the 2012 season the Land Trust has partnered with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and neighboring landowners to expand the area available for hunting. All of the same rules apply for this additional acreage. Please respect all of our neighbors when hunting and obey all signs.

Rules for the 2012 hunting season include:

  • All parking will be located at the main Community Forest parking area. Do not park along the road or in any driveways.
  • No motorized vehicles on the property with the exception of the parking area.
  • Only temporary deer stands may be used. These stands must be removed 48 hours after the season is over. No clearing/cutting of brush to clear a shooting path is allowed.
  • No camping
  • All WDFW rules and regulations apply

Any questions regarding hunting can be sent to jessica@wclt.org/testsite or call 360-222-3310.


Change in Ownership Strategy

There’s been a slight change in the ownership plans for the Community Forest.  The Land Trust will remain the landowner and the County will acquire a restrictive conservation easement on the property.  Read about the changes here.


Forest Restoration – 1st Phase Complete
The first forest restoration thinning at the Community Forest is complete!  In early 2012 we took the first steps to help a poorly managed portion of the forest return to a much healthier condition — significantly enhancing wildlife habitat. The first thinning of the 654-acre Trillium Forest was on 60 acres of dense, small trees with a barren understory. This stand exhibits trees with almost no wildlife value that are vulnerable to insects, disease and fire due to unnatural competition for water, nutrients, and sunlight. This was the first in a series of restoration thinning operations that will take place over the next five years. Read more. The Land Trust is currently completing a long-term forest management plan that will detail the schedule for future projects.

Trillium stand in need of thinning

The Land Trust’s primary goal for the Community Forest is protecting ecological values, which includes enhancing wildlife habitat.  We believe taking actions to help the forest reach a healthy and diverse condition will hasten its return to a more natural old-growth forest condition.

A healthy Whidbey forest, with a variety of tree species of different ages and robust native shrub understory, naturally thins itself as the more vigorous trees shade out weaker trees.  Many of the Trillium forest stands however, are unhealthy because of past commercial clear-cut logging followed by dense planting of only one tree species with no subsequent thinning. These practices have resulted in forest stands lacking species diversity and variability in size, age and spacing.  One of the most effective tools to return a forest to its previous healthy condition is to thin the stands.

Trillium stand that was previously thinned

Removing some of the weaker trees will reduce competition, allowing more light to reach the forest floor and promoting growth of a native plant understory.  This, in turn, will enhance wildlife habitat, especially for songbirds that depend on a healthy forest understory for nesting, feeding and refuge from predators. Thinning young, dense forest stands has also been shown to improve tree growth rates, resistance to disease and insect invasion, ability to survive wildfires, and the forest’s visual appearance.

The Land Trust is working with Janicki Logging Company out of Sedro Woolley, who is experienced in ecological restoration logging with demonstrated successes in Washington State.  Janicki has specialized, low-impact equipment that leaves a smaller footprint on the ground, significantly reducing impacts on soil and surrounding vegetation.

For more information on thinning follow these links:
Thinning Factsheet
Wildlife Thinning in Alaska
Variable Density Thinning for Wildlife
Restoration thinning in Young Plantations
Managing for Biodiversity in Young Douglas-Fir Forests


Management Plan – In Progress
The Land Trust is currently working on a Management Plan for the Trillium Community Forest. A Steering Committee was selected in January 2011; its members provide feedback on issues and management options for the plan by providing “big picture” perspectives. The committee members are Robin Clark (Whidbey Watersheds Stewards), Bill Oakes (Island County Public Works), Sarah Schmidt (Whidbey Audubon), Helen Price Johnson (County Commissioner), Steve Shapiro (Owner of Island Athletic), Sarah Cassatt (Whidbey Island Conservation District), and Lenny Corin (Land Trust).

Between March and May of 2011 the Land Trust also conducted a series of focus group meetings to solicit input from various specific user groups. The groups included bicyclists, equestrians, hunters, hikers, dog walkers, natural resource specialists, and neighbors. During these meetings the Land Trust collected information on each group’s concerns and ideas about the property.

June to December is dedicated to the writing of the management plan, creation of maps, collection of field data, and discussions with the Steering Committee.

The Land Trust expects to have a Draft Management Plan ready for public review in April 2012. The Plan will be posted online and another public comment period will occur.



Volunteer Activities
654 acres is a lot of space and there will be on-going stewardship opportunities for many years to come. Trail work and invasive species removal will always be on the forefront of stewardship actions for this property.

Interested in being part of maintaining Trillium for future generations? Join our volunteer crews at a work party or sign up to be one of our site stewards! There are lots of opportunities to help out at this great site. Contact Jessica@wclt.org/testsite to get on the list and learn about volunteer activities.