Bill and Joan Arsenault: West Regional Tree Farmer of the Year
Bill and Joan Arsenault’s Paradise Creek Ranch, located 28 miles from the Oregon Coast, is truly a paradise. With its 277 acres of Douglas and grand fir, beautiful views, lush pasturelands and clear streams, the ranch has been a labor of love for the couple since they moved there from southern California in 1971. Their stewardship earned the Arsenaults the Oregon Tree Farmer of the Year award in 2012.
In managing their woodlands, which have been certified by ATFS since 1978, the Arsenaults place a high priority on protecting water resources—both the spring that supplies their drinking water and the clear waters of Paradise Creek and Little Paradise Creek, which are home to coho and chinook salmon, steelhead and native cutthroat trout. They have put up fencing to keep cattle out of the streams, planted conifers to buffer the streambanks from erosion and installed rock weirs in the streams so that gravel can accumulate to shelter salmon in the winter.
“Bill and Joan are the prime example of fantastic land stewards. They implement best management practices on their forest and agriculture land,” says Marty Amos, woodlands assistance forester for Douglas County.
“The ranch has been a wonderful cultural center for our family and our friends,” says Joan Arsenault. “We consider ourselves ambassadors of the forest, showing off what nature can do with a little help.” Bill agrees. “When we bought the place, we had no idea about forestry at all,” he says. “My greatest joy is when I think of the scraggly place we bought back in 1971, and what we’ve done since then to learn about the forest and nurture it.”