Steve & Janet Funk (Family Forest Landowners)
ALL IN THE FAMILY
Family forest landowners, also known as tree farmers, take great pride in managing their lands. The Funk family of Wolf Lodge, Coeur d’Alene — Steve and Janet and their four children and four grandchildren — all play important roles in the success of the family’s thriving tree farm.
“Together, we’ve developed and put into action a plan to make sure that we’re protecting the natural resources we all care about,” explains Steve, a certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, who moved with Janet to “glorious Idaho,” from Columbia, Missouri, thirty-five years ago.
In that time Steve and Janet fixed up the old farmhouse and reared their kids on the land. They took classes and worked with an extension forester to plan and execute improvements in the white pine, red fir (Douglas-fir), ponderosa pine and tamarack (western larch) stands that grow so well on the property.
“We try to apply ‘Best Management Practices in all that we do,” emphasizes son David, who currently works in hydrology for the Forest Service and helps his parents manage the forest.
Family forest landowners manage about 60 percent of forests nationwide, often diverse landscapes containing many forest life-stages. On the Funk property, visitors see large standing trees next to newly planted seedlings and trees marked for harvest next to “birdhouse” trees and large downed logs used by many species of wildlife.
The Funks rejuvenated the 375-acre property that overlooks the Coeur d’Alene mountain range, replanting thousands of seedlings, thinning dead and diseased trees and turning the harvested logs into fine wood products at the family saw mill. They enjoy identifying the birds, wildflowers and wildlife that make their home on the farm and improving water channels and fish passage on the creek that cuts through the land. The Funks participate in the Forest Stewardship Program, are members of the Idaho Forest Owners Association where Steve serves on the board, and their land is officially certified under the American Tree Farm System.
Daughter Janelle and son-in-law Jeff recently moved into a log home they built on the property complete with floors and cabinets milled from red fir (Douglas-fir) and blued pine grown on the farm. “Matthew, Jonathan and their cousin Dylan thought it was pretty cool to help Grandpa at the saw mill and watch that lumber become part of the house,” says Janelle.
“Sustainable forestry means a sustainable future, stresses Janet. “As a family, that means we’ve made a commitment to protecting the environment, clean water, fish and wildlife habitat and producing wood products all at the same time.”
Did you know?
Family forest landowners own and manage 2.1 million acres of Idaho’s
forest land (9.7% of the total).
Want to know more?
º Funks named 2011 National Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year
º See the Funks at:
º American Tree Farm System
º Forest Stewardship Program
º Idaho Forest Stewardship Program
º Forest Owners Association
º Idaho Forest Owners Association