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Winter Greetings from The Forest

January 14, 2022
The Forest road covered in snow
winter equinox gathering at The Forest
forest trees covered in snow

Reveling in Winter Time

We are so delighted that it’s truly winter here at the burial ground. We welcomed the changing seasons with poetry, reflections, and light in a small community gathering in the snow. Honoring nature and welcoming our community to come together for each seasonal transition is important to us, and we will continue to offer these gatherings. So, mark your calendars for the Spring Equinox Celebration on Sunday, March 20, 2022.

This winter we are focusing our time and energy on green burial community education; we offer virtual and in-person presentations. Let us know if you are interested in this offering. We are also increasing our efforts at promoting equitable access to natural burial. Read more below about Payment Plan Options and the Community Support Fund.

Thank you for your ongoing support of The Forest Conservation Burial Ground and our shared commitment to land conservation and community building. Our mission is alive and well:  providing a space to reconnect our experience of life and death with land conservation. Blessings to you.

a natural burial gathering at The Forest

Payment Plan Options & Community Support Fund

We are committed to promoting equitable access to natural burial;  this is why we are pleased to offer you Payment Plan Options. If paying for an interment right in full is an option, you can enjoy a 5% discount at the time of purchase. If a payment plan is the better choice, you can choose to finance either the interment right, the open/closing/recording fee, or any pre-need services or merchandise. You can also finance all of these together. Monthly payments range from ~$90-$200.

The Forest established the Community Support Fund (CSF) in an effort to promote equitable access to natural burial. The fund is generated from generous contributions from community members, organizations and the loved ones of those interred here. Each year’s fund availability is based on contributions from the previous year. Funds support the purchase of the interment right only. Please spread the word about this community effort!


Seasonal Shifts and Climate Observations

meadow in creek with snow

As we write this newsletter The Forest is under more than 3’ of snow at the end of December.  When Lanita and Suzanne first saw this property December 31, 1984, it was covered by 4’ of snow.  Since January 1985 they have been noting the seasonal weather, plants, and arrival and departure of migratory birds.   The change in snow load has been an obvious indication of a warming climate.  It has been more than 10 years since December brought deep snows. Summer temperatures are notably higher, also, and are predicted to continue climbing. 

At an average elevation of 5000’, the forest at Willow-Witt Ranch is mainly conifers, with small White Oak savannahs. Trees are dying at increasing rates from drought stress.  Springs surrounding the wetlands are still flowing, but evaporation rates have increased. Western pond turtles, looking for fresh, cool, and clear water are ‘climate migrants,’ breeding in our pond at almost 1500’ higher elevation than ever seen in our region.   

How do we, as ‘stewards of the land’, help or hinder the plants and animals with whom we share this amazing home?  We developed The Forest Conservation Burial Ground because we believe natural burial really is the ‘greenest way to go,’ and provides an important space for all of us to contribute to, rather than delete from, the health of the only world we have.  We believe natural burial is another way to help conserve and protect this unique ecosystem within the Cascade Siskiyou National Monument.  Please join us.  Look around.  Bring your questions.  Take a walk…or snowshoe… with us. 

Look at your life and your world.  What special places do you love?  How can you help protect them?  We all have the power to make a difference for our community and our world. 


Species Spotlight

Maremma Sheepdog

Maremma Sheepdogs

Maremmas are large, loyal and protective. Their thick fur allows them to thrive in winter conditions and they can often be observed napping on the snow. Originally bred in Italy where they remain popular, their primary purpose continues to be to guard livestock.

They also happen to love people. This is Pippa enjoying some attention from a recent farm-stay guest. If you come up for a hike or a snowshoe, you just might find the guard dogs (Aldo, Luna and Pippa) joining in your adventure!

The guard dogs do not tolerate other dogs on the property as they see them as a threat. When you visit, remember to leave your pooch at home.

More News!

Want to take climate action this year? Register for SOCAN’s Master Climate Protector course beginning Wednesday, February 9 and continuing for 10 weeks. This is a virtual training. Learn more and register here!

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Green Burial Council certified member
The Forest Conservation Burial Ground is certified by the Green Burial Council