Trees working for Camano family

CAMANO ISLAND — The Kristoferson family is one of four in the state nominated for the Washington Tree Farmer of the Year award.

The century-old Kristoferson farm on Camano Island is now home to the family’s tourism-oriented zip-line business, Canopy Tours Northwest.

The two-year-old venture is a fun one, but it’s also a way for the family to preserve the 134-acre farm and stick to a commitment to managing their 100-acre forest for many generations to come, Kris Kristoferson said.

His sister, Mona Kristoferson Campbell agreed.

“We’re very honored to among those considered for the forest award,” Campbell said. “Learning about forest stewardship led us to entertain a business idea that is low impact and allows us to share the knowledge we gained about our forest.”

Swedish immigrants Alfred and Alberta Kristoferson bought land for a dairy farm on Camano Island in 1912. From lumber milled on site, the Kristofersons built hay and dairy barns, which today are listed on the state’s Heritage Barn Register.

When the Kristofersons moved to Camano, the old-growth trees on their land already had been clear cut. With its 100-year-old trees, the current forest is managed for a small harvest every 10 years under a stewardship plan developed with the help of Washington State University Extension. The Kristoferson family has had plenty of chances over the years to sell their property to developers, Campbell, said.

Other tree farms nominated for the tree farmer of the year award, sponsored by the Washington Farm Forestry Association and the Washington Forest Protection Association, include one on the Kitsap Peninsula, one near Chehalis and another outside of Olympia.

The award is based on the farmer’s stewardship, management plan, timber health, innovation and community involvement. The winner will be announced April 26.

For more information, go to www.watreefarm.org, www.wfpa.org, www.wafarmforestry.com and www.canopytoursnw.com.

Gale Fiege: 425-339-3427; gfiege@heraldnet.com.

More in Local News

District takes steps to secure school campuses

Safety measures have been enhanced at Hawthorne and Silver Firs elementary schools in Everett.

Local police join thousands honoring slain Canadian officer

Abbotsford Const. John Davidson was killed Nov. 6 in a shootout with a suspected car thief.

Hard work is paying off for Mariner High senior

Mey Ly has excelled in school since moving here from Cambodia; she also serves as an intrepreter.

1 arrested after SWAT team moves in on Marysville house

The incident was connected to an earlier robbery.

Darrington School Board race might come down to a coin flip

With a one-vote difference, a single ballot in Skagit County remains to be counted.

Herald photos of the week

A weekly collection of The Herald’s best images by staff photographers and… Continue reading

No easy exit from Smokey Point shopping complex

There’s just no easy exit on this one. A reader called in… Continue reading

County Council upholds ban on safe heroin injection sites

At Monday’s public hearing, more than 15 people spoke in support of the ban. No one spoke against it.

Lynnwood, Marysville, Sultan consider ban on safe injection sites

If approved, they would join Lake Stevens and Snohomish County, which have temporary bans.

Most Read