When it’s fire season, you don’t buy concert tickets. You don’t make dates. You miss your kid’s birthday.
When you’re at the top of the jump list, you don’t go out of range of the alarm. You stay on the base. Send friends to pick up your family at the airport. You don’t take your boots off. You wait.
“All day long, you're this coiled spring that's waiting for that [alarm] just to sound off.”
That’s Jarret Carle. Six foot five. Red hair. Fantastic beard. A healthy community of crow’s feet gather around his eyes. He wears an uncompromised grin.
Carle is a smokejumper. He jumps out of airplanes and fights fire without water. He doesn’t think that’s brave.
“I think bravery is running into a house to ...
There’s a wall of fire 12 feet away. Ponderosa pines burn to a roar. Like a jet engine ramping up for takeoff. Flames ignite branches and tufts of green needles on their way up the trunks.
Hotshots, smokejumpers and other Forest Service employees stand nearby. They’re not here to put the fire out. They started the fire. With torches. They’re here to make sure it burns.
“This is a first forest,” says Dan Hoswald, the USFS burn boss guiding the team. “Putting fire back into the ecosystem is huge.”
A critical role in USFS’s stewardship of our national forests is fire management. During the summer fire season, 10,000 wildland firefighters are employed to fight fires – 98 percent of which are contai...
The Fly Fishing Collaborative may be the new model for social change. Based in Portland, Oregon, the organization uses donated guided trips to build sustainable fish-and-produce farms in developing countries. This Filson Life is part of Filson’s celebration of the Forest Service and the people of the Pacific Northwest Region of the USFS, Region 6.
Three years ago, Bucky Buchstaber was trying to find a way to combine his passions. Being an ardent fisherman of the Pacific Northwest’s streams—from the high creeks of the National Forests and wilderness areas to the brackish, wide mouths of rivers dumping into the sea—Buchstaber was looking to overlap his time on the river with his philanthropic g...
Last fall, Bruce McGlenn started his hunting school in Central Washington. It’s exactly what the sport is in need of: a modern, holistic approach to harvesting wild meat. This Filson Life is part of Filson’s celebration of the Forest Service and the people of the Pacific Northwest Region of the USFS, Region 6.
Learning to hunt can be like learning to sail a yacht. For the uninitiated and those who didn’t grow up doing it, the obstacles to entry can seem prohibitive. The options in the past were to hire a guide or teach yourself. Teaching yourself, via binge-watching YouTube how-to videos, will show you the nuts and bolts, but never get you out of your comfort zone.
Hiring a guide can be educa...Read More
Beaver ponds store a lot of water. Millions of gallons. And scientists are now realizing that reintroducing the animals to struggling streams is a way to buck a drying trend. This Filson Life is part of Filson’s celebration of the Forest Service and the people of the Pacific Northwest Region of the USFS, Region 6.
As the Northwest gets less snow, Kent Woodruff says it needs more beavers.
Less snow means less rainfall. Less rainfall means less water for farms and streams – which leads to a decrease in spawning ground and shelter for salmon.
Beavers dam streams and streams flood their floodplains, which produces more trees for more dams and provides millions of gallons of water for everything in...Read More
Traditional Yakama beliefs say the Creator put salmon in the rivers so that humans could live. Today, the tribe is returning the favor with a restoration program that is on the global forefront of salmon recovery. This Filson Life is part of Filson’s celebration of the Forest Service and the people of the Pacific Northwest Region of the USFS, Region 6.
Salmon do not like to spawn here.
The stream runs fast and uninterrupted. There’s very little new growth or diversity of vegetation. The floodplain hasn’t been regularly flooded in a long time. Nearby picnic benches sit on clean turf that looks like the manicured lawn of a Boca Raton retirement community. Standing along a section of Taneum Creek...Read More
Bill Austin is one of the lucky few to have the job of manning a fire lookout tower. And as a veteran of more than 25 seasons of scanning the horizon, he’s not about to give up his post. This Filson Life is part of Filson’s celebration of the Forest Service and the people of the Pacific Northwest Region of the USFS, Region 6.
Bill Austin has never been struck by lightning, but at least once a year his office is.
“I tell people it’s like stepping inside a light bulb and then turning on the light,” he says. “It’s wild.”
Austin works, eats and sleeps 40 feet above the ground, in the Leecher Mountain Lookout tower in Washington state’s Methow Valley. During daylight hours, he scans the Okanogan Na...Read More
Mountains, rivers, lakes, streams. Five active volcanoes. Nineteen National Forests.
This is Region 6, our home since the day Filson was founded.
The U.S. Forest Service oversees 193 million acres of public lands: 36.6 million acres of wilderness, 158,000 miles of trails, and 154 national forests. It divides its charge into nine regions. The Pacific Northwest is Region 6. It gets hit hard. This Filson Life is part of Filson’s celebration of the Forest Service and the people of the Pacific Northwest Region of the USFS, Region 6.“Our trailheads are full on the weekends,” says Tracy O’Toole, community engagement officer for Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. “We have to find ways to deal with...
Erik and Andrea Anderson greet us like old friends as we walk onto their dock stretching out into Westcott Bay off San Juan Island in Washington. As at any family-run farm, their hands-on approach is obvious at first glance. Andrea sets down her pressure washer and takes a break from the farm chores with Erik to show us around.
The clouds hang low and the stormy sky begins to gently rain.
The shellfish farm nestles in a vibrant green nook tucked inside Westcott Bay — an ideal location for shellfish growth, with a nearby creek flowing into the bay freshening the water and helping algae thrive.
Andrea and Erik’s passion for their unique natural resource is infectious. Walking us through the proce...
Story by Jainee Dial of WYLDER
Photography by Abbi and Callen Hearne
There is a secret language that exists between horses and humans. Voices hold no value, and there is instead, a palpable yet quiet communication between animal and rider. Volumes of silent dialogue are conveyed through body language.
As prey animals, horses are constantly on guard for predators. Given the choice, they would always rather run than fight. This is not a learned behavior; evolution has provided them with this instinct. If something scares them, they try to leave and will only fight if they are cornered and have no other option.
Fight or flight.
We all know this dilemma and I have been playing out these two options i...Read More