Better managing your private forest


November 3, 2022

Gordon Weeks

Leslie Coulter, front, leads a tour of her property followed by Emily Fales, a natural resources specialist in forest resiliency with the South Puget Sound region of the state Department of Natural Resources, property co-owner Bruce Santy and Matthew Axe, the South Puget Sound forest resiliency district manager.

In 1993, Leslie Coulter and Bruce Santy bought 10 acres of woods and wetlands at the end of a dirt road near Cranberry Lake. They started building on the property two years later.

The couple, who moved to Mason County from King County, say they felt "overwhelmed" when it came to managing the land.

"Our forest is not here for making money," Coulter said. "It's here to create something that's healthy and happy.

"We wanted to be in the woods, but what can we do to not to screw things up?"

A few years ago, the couple called the state Department of Natural Resources for guidance. From a visiting...

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