Mike and Barb Meredith of Medford have won the 2011 Jackson County Tree Farmer of the Year award. County winners are chosen each year for the commitment to and care for the forested land base within their ownership, as well as their involvement in community issues within the fields of forest and resource management. The Merediths were selected by a team of local judges, including Lee Winslow of the Oregon Department of Forestry, Max Bennett of the Oregon State University Extension Service, Marty Main, Small Woodland Services, Inc., and Bill Collins, past Tree Farmer of the Year winner.
“It’s always tough to pick a winner – we have so many worthy candidates,” said Bennett. “That’s just a reflection of the outstanding woodland management that takes place in this area. This year, Mike rose to the top.”
Mike and Barb own several parcels in Jackson County that have been acquired over the past 20+ years. Their “Snowy Butte Timberlands LLC” holdings include 7 parcels ranging from 10 to 310 acres in size, totaling over 600 acres in all. Elevations range from 1,800 feet to 6,800 feet in the high Siskiyous, not far from Mt. Ashland. They manage 10 conifer species.
Recent activities on their tree farm include salvage harvesting, planting to boost stocking, gopher baiting, spray and hack and squirt to control competing vegetation, thinning, pruning, and firewood cutting. Past activities have included overstory removal and partial cut harvest, site conversion from manzanita brushfields, and road construction.
“Our family enjoys these parcels for hiking, wildlife viewing, snowshoeing, working, and seeing the changes as the trees grow,” says Mike.
Mike is a familiar face to local foresters, having worked in southern Oregon as a professional forester since 1979, first as a silviculturist for Medite from 1979-96, and then as a silviculturist/lands manager for Lone Rock Timberlands from 1997 until he retired in 2007. Mike is known for his ability to get trees to grow and thrive on tough southern Oregon sites. Since “retiring”, he has been busy on his Tree Farm parcels, as well as doing contract work on various noxious weed projects on several ownerships in southern Oregon.
Mike’s is a longtime Society of American Foresters member and has been very active in the local chapter. He has served as vice-president for the Jackson Josephine Small Woodlands Association and a board member for the last three years. He is also an active Tree Farm inspector.