Historic Linn tree farm tour offered July 6


Two days following the Fourth’s fireworks, Linn County’s tree farmers of the year are holding an open house.
The public is invited Saturday, July 6 at 3 p.m. to tour a small woodlands property managed by the same family for more than 150 years.
The 80-acres of forest are located near Waterloo, 1.2 miles up Ingram Road from Highway 20. Tree tour signs will guide visitors.
Tim and Kathy Otis are Linn County's 2019 tree farmers of the year.
Together, with much help from family, they manage more than 370 acres of forest land in the Middle Ridge area between Brownsville and Lebanon.
Their family holdings include 135 acres of farmland and 25 acres of
restored riparian woodlands along the Calapooia River east of Brownsville.
The Linn County chapter of the Oregon Small Woodlands Association (OSWA) co-hosts the annual event. Guests are asked to bring a potluck dish and service. Drinks will be supplied.
Among the day’s activities will be talks on the family history. Tree-related activities will include discussion of a recent blackberry control project and thinning in an older tree stand.
The majority of the property is owned in a limited liability corporation — Farm and Four-est LLC — by Kathy and her three sisters, Jill Hauptman, Jan Sheets and Deanna Russell. It was formed in November of 2014. Some properties are owned with cousins, which adds to management complexity.
Tim, who currently works at Summit Ace Hardware in Lebanon, supplies elbow grease and technical support for the holdings. He holds a masters degree in forest engineering from Oregon State University and is a Master Woodland Manager. 
The tree farm property has been in family ownership for more than 150 years. The historical importance of the property will be emphasized on the tour.
When William H. Ingram, great-great-grandfather to the LLC members,
homesteaded in the Sodaville area in 1855, the property was open grassland with only scattered oaks and timber. This landscape had bee
maintained by frequent burning by the Kalapuya tribe. According to Tim
Otis “this property was selected for a homestead for two reasons. It was
above the floor of the valley which often flooded and was good grazing
ground. Timber was not important to the settlers and only came in later
after burning was curtailed.” Tim and Kathy Otis have been members of the Oregon Small Woodlands Association for about 20 years, and Kathy's
parents, Charles and Bobbie Wheeler, were members for many years before them. Tim is a past president of the Linn County chapter of OSWA and is
the current vice president on the board of directors. Their home is
located just outside of Brownsville.

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