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Forest Products


Forest Resources Field Trip to the Yakama Nation
Saturday, April 16

We will assemble at the three white SUVs in the Burke Museum Parking Lot at 6:30 a.m. We will be on the road at 6:45. It will take us a little over three hours, with a brief break, to get to our first stop, the Yakama Forest Products sawmill at White Swan.

After our arrival, we will do some of the following things in and around the Yakama Nation Reservation (subject to schedule changes and time constraints):
  • Brief introduction to the day's activities by Steven J. Rigdon, general manager designate, Yakama Forest Products mill
  • Guided tour of the sawmill, which will be in partial operation on Saturday
  • Visit to the site of the Cougar Creek Fire of 2015, and discussion of fire and salvage logging
  • Possible visit to an active logging site, or other forest sites of interest
  • Visit to Starvation Flats meadows in the Yakama Forests, demonstrating the role of meadows in the regional ecology and livelihood
  • Discussion of the relation of Yakama language to resource conservation
  • Visit to wildlife restoration project at the Zimmerman property on Toppenish Creek
We should be back at White Swan by 4:30 p.m. and thus be back in Seattle by 8:30, if we take a dinner break (depending on weather) or a little earlier otherwise. We need to consider the fatigue and safety of the drivers, as it's a long drive, especially if we have rain in the Cascades.

What to bring, wear, etc
  • Check the weather forecast for the Yakima Valley, and dress accordingly. It looks now as if the weather will be clear with pleasant temperatures, but keep in mind that we may be visiting some high-elevation places, and if it is windy it can feel quite chilly
  • Wear shoes suitable for tromping in mud, forests, etc. No sandals, please and especially no flip-flops!
  • Bring a camera or be prepared to take pictures with your phone for the slide show in Tuesday's class, and for your own memories
  • Bring a notebook and something to write with, as you will need to be taking notes at just about every stop
  • Bring a lunch, and perhaps enough for a light dinner if we stop on the way back
  • There will be an opportunity (no expectation) to purchase real Native American frozen or smoked salmon. If you think you would like to buy some, bring cash (no credit cards)
Special Considerations
  • Remember that the Yakama are a sovereign nation, and that you are there as their guests. This trip is as much about appreciating the culture, social situation, and legal rights of Native Americans as it is about forest products. So be courteous. That doesn't mean don't have a good time, it just means be courteous.
  • Also remember that you are there to learn, and that active participation and active questioning are good ways to learn. So be engaged with the material and with our hosts.