Institute for Sustainable Forestry

About ISF


sustainable forestry

community economic development

markets, trade and policy

Donate to ISF

Welcome to ISF

Please join the Institute for Sustainable Forestry for our 2018 field season as we explore the dynamic processes that shape the mountains, rivers and forests of the Northcoast. We have built this program around three themes; Watershed health, fire adaptation and resilience, and geological influences on the ecosystem. These tours will highlight some of the most innovative cultural and technical solutions to our natural resource challenges and inform our understanding of ecological processes. Join the conversation as we work to implement a vision of a thriving future for forest dependent communities on the Northcoast.

March 24 ***RESCHEDULED for April 1*** Ascending the Mendocino Ecological Staircase at Jughandle State Reserve

The approaching atmospheric river is prompting a NOAA Extreme Weather Alert for this Friday and Saturday, March 23 and 24. ISF is postponing the Ascending the Mendocino Ecological Staircase tour until Sunday April 1, 9AM at Jughandle State Park. Please register for Sunday April 1, 2018 at: or phone 707-244-4584.

We will begin this conversation with an overview of the tectonic setting of the Noyo basin and stream incision. We will then ascend the Ecological Staircase and examine the unique soil and plant associations on each tread and riser.

April 21: Enhancing forest biodiversity at homestead scale in Salmon Creeks Fools Farm

The day will include examples of holistic land stewardship practices growing and protecting soil, small scale mushroom production, oak woodland and grassland restoration, groundwater recharge projects and wildlife habitat enhancement.

May 20: Floodplain Processes in the Heart of Southern Humboldt

Float from Tooby Park to the USGS gaging station and explore the South Fork Eel core of Southern Humboldt. Bring your own Boat. We will discuss tectonics, extreme floods, sediment dynamics and floodplain restoration.

June 16: Ultramafic Biogeography Part One: Red Mountain.

BLM wilderness area, this 4,000ft ultramafic peak's is dominated by pines, cedars, and cypresses with a 4.5' manzanita closed canopy, and is home to a numerous endemics.

June 23: Ultramafic Biogeography Part Two: The Lassics

These two 5900ft. peaks dominate a botanical area and wilderness in the Six Rivers National Forest. We will observe alpine wildflowers, recent wildfires, and ultramafic endemics.

July 21: Angelo Reserve and Elder Creek

Visit a UC Natural Reserve, National Science Foundation Critical Zone Observatory. Discuss research by Mary Power, Bill Dietrich, their students, and colleagues.

August 4: RFFI's Usal Forest - Working toward a Community-based Forest Model.

Tour the Redwood Forest Foundation Inc's Usal Forest. Discuss creating and operating a community based forest and the challenges of restoration forestry. See the cumulative impacts of 100+ yrs. of logging. Look at forest, road, stream, and riparian restoration. Led by RFFI's board and staff.

Sept. 22: Standish Hickey Recreation Area

Discuss community engagement and the local park governance model that that has kept the park thriving through a period of uncertain funding. We will also tour the terrace sequence that records the late Pleistocene incision of the South Fork Eel River.

Oct. 13: A Canoe Fire Transect in Humboldt Redwoods State Park

The 2003 13,724 acre fire was the largest wildfire in old growth coast redwood stands in over 50 years. This transect will explore the fire's effects, erosion, recovery, and risk management.

Nov. 17: Mushrooms, Music, and Merlo

Return to the Usal Forest at Kenny Creek to explore the fall mushrooms. Then go to the Peg House by Standish Hickey SRA for a harvest celebration of forest foods!

Dec. 8: Before and After Wildfire, Biochar and Prescribed Fire

Study fire safe perimeters, home brew biochar, and prescribed burns. Locations will depend on this year's burn programs.

For more information please call 707 244 4584

The Institute for Sustainable Forestry (ISF) was formed in 1991 to promote sustainable forest management that contributes to the long-term ecological, economic, and social well-being of forest based communities in the Pacific Northwest.