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The popular visitor center for the Tillamook State Forest is seasonally closed during the winter months.

COURTESY PHOTO: OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FORESTRY - Forest entomologist Christine Buhl will talk about the importance of bees to Oregon's forests and bee conservation in a presentation at the Tillamook Forest Center on Saturday morning, March 9.Meteorological spring begins Friday, March 1, and so does the Tillamook Forest Center's 2019 season.

The interpretive center, located at 45500 Wilson River Highway in the heart of the Tillamook State Forest, has announced a series of educational talks starting next month about the Oregon Department of Forestry's work in managing state forestlands.

The series, called Fresh Brewed Forestry, begins with an event at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 9, about the role that bees play in maintaining the health of Oregon's forests. Entomologist Christine Buhl will present, discussing the state's work to protect and improve bee habitat and how private property-owners can help.

COURTESY PHOTO: OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FORESTRY - Martin Conley creates sculptures from dead trees. His work will be displayed at the Tillamook Forest Center west of Banks from March 1 through May 26.Future topics in the series include the effects of wildfires on soil and how they recover, as well as the relationship between biomass and atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide.

This spring, the center also displays the artwork of wood-carver and sculptor Martin Conley. From dead tree trunks, Conley carves sculptures that highlight the natural aspects of the wood while maintaining a unique, organic aesthetic.

Conley's work will be displayed through May 26.

The Tillamook Forest Center is open Wednesdays through Sundays, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., during the spring season. There is no fee for entry, although a $5 donation per visitor is recommended.

From Forest Grove, it's about a 35-minute drive to the Tillamook Forest Center. The center is about 30 minutes west of Banks and 45 minutes west of Hillsboro.

The Tillamook State Forest is shared between Washington, Tillamook, Yamhill and Clatsop counties. It is managed by the Oregon Department of Forestry.

The Tillamook Forest Center closes during the winter months, from December through February. As has become tradition, the center held a winter cleaning party earlier this month, asking for volunteers to come help in preparing for visitor season.

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