Event, Tillamook Forest Center, Tillamook State Forest

March events at the Tillamook Forest Center: Beavers, fairy and gnome homes

The Tillamook Forest Center. Photo: Chas Hundley

TILLAMOOK FOREST – Now open for the season, the Tillamook Forest Center will play host to a variety of public events this March in the heart of the Tillamook State Forest.

Two opportunities to learn about one of the region’s most unique mammals —Oregon’s state mammal, the hard working beaver — will be on Saturday, March 21 and Sunday, March 22 at 12:30 p.m. each day.

The beaver has played an important role in the Pacific Northwest ecosystem for eons, and are an integral part of Oregon history, lending their name to Oregon’s nickname, “the Beaver State,” due to their significance in the early history of white settlement and the economy in the region. 

In nearby Gales Creek, named for early settler and member of the Provisional Government of Oregon’s Executive Committee, Joseph Gale, the animal was, in a way, responsible for the former fur trapper’s decision to settle in Gales Creek. After the international market for the mammal had collapsed, Gale was forced to find a new way of life, eventually building a grist mill and sawmill on what would become Gales Creek near where Stringtown Road intersects with Gales Creek Road. 

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At the event at the Tillamook Forest Center, visitors will learn more about their history, their role in the forest, and how to look for signs of the elusive creatures. 

On Friday, March 27 and Saturday, March 28 at 12:30 p.m., an interactive event will be held, titled “Fairy houses and gnome homes.” 

According to the center’s website, Oregon Department of Forestry naturalists and participants will build a “Fairy House Village” of twigs, grasses, moss, rocks, and other forest-found items for creatures of the Tillamook Forest to use at night, and visitors to the forest center to view by day. 

The Tillamook Forest Center, an ODF-managed facility located in the heart of the Tillamook State Forest along Highway 6 will play host to thousands of visitors in 2020 who visit the Tillamook State Forest, either passing through on the way to the Oregon Coast, or for some, visiting the forest for what it has to offer, such as trails, rivers, off-road opportunities, foraging, fishing, hunting, and more.

The center features a replica fire lookout tower, an interpretive center, a bridge that spans the Wilson River and links to the Wilson River Trail, a theater that shows programs related to the historic Tillamook Burn, and presentations surrounding the history, wildlife, and vegetation of the Tillamook State Forest.

With a suggested donation of $5, visitors can find the center open in the spring Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

More information can be found by visiting the Tillamook Forest Center website.

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Chas Hundley is the editor of the Banks Post and sister news publications the Gales Creek Journal and the Salmonberry Magazine. He grew up in Gales Creek and has a cat.

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