(By Dana Bowers/Stevens County Conservation District)
During smoky summers, we are inundated with reminders that our forest resources need careful care and management. It’s for this purpose that the Big Tree Contest got its start in 2004 as an incentive based approach to forestry education. Youth spend their summer caring for seedlings, making posters, and decorating the five gallon buckets in which they bring their trees to the Northeast Washington Fair.
Poster topics have varied anywhere from non-timber forest products, pine beetles, and fire resistant traits of different species to mention a few. The Grand Champion Poster this year went to Charlee Zollman of Thundering Herd 4-H. Reserve Champion was Milayna Hartill of Valley Community 4-H and the Judges Choice poster was done by Lane Esvelt of Boy Scouts Troop 965. Bucket decorating awards went to Kaylynn Lyons, Katlyn Watt and Brooke House of Thundering Herd 4-H, Inchelium Forestry Club and Aiming High 4-H, respectively. In the new cedar division, Milyana Hartill took first place with Nichole Grimm, Natalie Housworth, Dawson Housworth, Miles Housworth and Jesse Clark also receiving awards donated by Columbia Cedar. More