72nd Annual - Olympic Logging Conference

The Future Grows On Trees

Featured Speaker

Tom Nelson

Washington Timberlands Manager, Sierra Pacific Industries (SPI)

Present position is Washington Timberlands Manager for Sierra Pacific Industries (SPI) with direct responsibility for management of 290,000 acres of Washington tree farms. SPI is a privately held, family run business that owns and manages a total of 1.9 million acres of forestland in California and Washington. Tom has worked for SPI since 1984, in various capacities, both in California and Washington.

Received a BS in Forestry (with honors) from the University of Minnesota in 1976, also attended Humboldt State University and Fullerton College in California.

Has been a member of numerous professional organizations, including the California Licensed Foresters Association, Society of American Foresters, California Pest Council, Associated California Loggers, Director-Western Shasta Resource Conservation District, past Chairman of American Forest & Paper Association’s Federal Forest Policy Committee, and served 5 years as a member of the California State Board of Forestry (appointed by Governor Wilson in 1991). He is also a founding member of the Quincy Library Group, a community-based group of citizens dedicated to improved management of our National Forests in northern California.

He is currently Vice Chairman and a member of the Board of Directors-IFA Nurseries, a member of the Blanchard Forest Advisory Board (appointed by Washington State Commissioner for Public Lands), Washington Farm Forestry Association, a trustee on the Board of Directors for the Washington Forest Protection Association, a member of the Skagit County Forest Advisory Board, and was appointed by Governor Inslee as a Public Member of the Washington Forest Practices Board in 2017.

Tom is married, with two children (ages 26 & 31) and two grandchildren (ages 1 & 5); Viet Nam veteran (US Marine Corps, 1968-70).

Claudine Reynolds

Wildlife and Fisheries Manager, Port Blakely

A northwest native, Claudine Reynolds has lived in Olympia, Washington for over 20 years. Her passion for the natural world inspired her to pursue a career in applied environmental sciences.

She began working in managed timberlands as a college intern in 2000 and has since found her way to Port Blakely where she is the Wildlife and Fisheries Manager. In her role, she is responsible for overseeing all aspects of wildlife and fisheries resources on Port Blakely’s forestlands; providing guidance to the organization on environmental policy and resource protection issues as well as overseeing the implementation of their Habitat Conservation Plan and Safe Harbor Agreement. Claudine also coordinates Port Blakely’s voluntary sustainable forestry certification.

She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from The Evergreen State College and is a graduate of the Washington AgForestry Leadership Program.

Doug Hooks

Director of Forest and Environmental Programs, Washington Forest Protection Association

As a native of the east coast with an earnest desire to manage forestlands where the topography was not flat and the trees grew tall, Doug began the trek westward after receiving a Masters in Forestry from Duke University in 1998. After a brief stint as a silviculture tech with the USFS in Wyoming, he accepted a position with the Department of Natural Resources as a state land manager in Whatcom County. Over the next 13 plus years, he was responsible for the harvest of approximately 275 MMBF of timber for county and state trusts.

Akin to many forestry professionals during this time frame, frustration grew over the continued encroachment of policies and regulations. It was time to do something and learn how to affect change. In 2011, Doug then took that field and management experience with him to the Washington Forest Protection Association, where he accepted his current position as Director of Forest and Environmental Programs.

Doug was able to participate in the Washington Agforestry Leadership program in 2013-5 (Class 36, Best Class Ever) and considers this to be one of the best experiences of his career. He would ultimately like to return to field management or consulting and hopes to have a tree farm of his own one day.

Hilary S. Franz

Washington’s 14th Commissioner of Public Lands

Hilary S. Franz was sworn in as Washington’s 14th Commissioner of Public Lands on January 11, 2017.

Prior to being elected Commissioner, Franz was executive director of Futurewise, an organization committed to implementing smart, sustainable land use and transportation policies. In this role, she brought together local governments, non-profit organizations and citizen groups to blend land use with environmental protection and stronger local economies.

She served four years on the Bainbridge Island city council, where she developed nationally-recognized environmental and energy policies and programs with diverse coalitions of public and private stakeholders.

In addition, Franz has served on numerous state and regional boards and commissions, working to strengthen and protect both the environment and local economies.

She holds a bachelor’s degree from Smith College and a juris doctor from Northeastern University Law School. 

Commissioner Franz is married with three sons. 

Jerry Bonagofsky

President and CEO, Washington Contract Loggers Association

Jerry is currently President and CEO of the Washington Contract Loggers Association where he has worked since 1995. From 1988 to 1995 he worked for the Washington Department of Labor & Industries primarily as their statewide logging safety consultant. He also worked as a logger for about 16 years.

Matt Comisky

American Forest Resource Council

Matt was born and raised in Seattle but enjoyed the woods from an early age through camping, hiking, and eventually exploring the backroads of western Washington in his Toyota Land Cruiser. The love of the outdoors led him to a B.S. in Forest Engineering from the University of Washington.

He spent the first 15 years of his career in private industry providing engineering, forestry, construction management, and real estate services to both large and small private landowners. Prior to joining AFRC, he worked for the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) as an engineer. While at DNR he managed a variety of duties, including road and stream crossing design, road maintenance projects, and served as the lead engineer during the 2007 Windstorm salvage project. One of his favorite tasks at DNR was mentoring new foresters on road and logging systems layout for timber sales.

Matt also is a graduate of Class 31 of the Washington Agriculture and Forestry Leadership program.

At AFRC, Matt is responsible for monitoring both State and Federal timber programs within Washington. Additionally, he works with stakeholders, federal, state, local governments, and elected officials on forest policy issues throughout the state. He and his wife, Jodi, reside in Chehalis with their two children, where he enjoys beekeeping, coaching youth soccer, and gardening.

Nick Smith

Executive Director, Healthy Forests, Healthy Communities (HFHC)

Nick Smith is Executive Director and founder of Healthy Forests, Healthy Communities (HFHC), a non-profit, non-partisan grassroots coalition.  Established in March 2013, HFHC supports congressional action on comprehensive and permanent solutions that restore the health of rural communities and federal forestlands across the Pacific Northwest.

Prior to founding HFHC, Nick served 10 years in the Oregon House of Representatives as a legislative assistant, chief of staff and communications director for six state legislators, including five Oregon House Republican Leaders. From 2009 through 2012, he was Executive Director of Promote Oregon Leadership PAC, the political arm of the caucus where he directed legislative campaigns.

He holds a BA in Journalism from Chico State and Master of Public Administration from Portland State, and resides in Sherwood, OR with his wife and children.