By News-Register staff • 

Along the Street: 'Gentleman Logger' named Outstanding Tree Farmer

LeLand Payne, who farms 111 acres in the Kutch Creek Drainage near Yamhill, is being honored as Yamhill County’s Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year.

A third-generation land owner, Payne was born and raised on Kutch Mountain. The site was covered with trees when the family settled there. It was cleared for pasture, but has since reseeded itself and turned into a magnificent forest.

Payne worked as a logger for much of his life. According to Nicole Wood, his daughter, he was referred to as a “Gentleman Logger” because of his extreme care and love of the land.

Usually, the Oregon Small Woodlands Association hosts a woodland tour to show the annual honoree’s trees and processes. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s tour will be online, instead.

Payne and his daughter will host the live tour from 8 to 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 5. They will focus on how Payne planted and harvested a six-acre clearcut, reforestation challenges he faced related to drought and wildlife, his forest management and thinning strategies, and how he is replacing old culverts to allow fish to pass.

The presentation will include videos from the OSWA, Oregon Forest Resource Institute and Oregon Tree Farm System.

Wood said her father is concerned about creating a sustainable forest and ensuring his descendants continue that work. As they walk the property, she said, “you can hear the love, tenderness and care he has” for the land.

Preregistration is required for the online event. To register, go to and look for a section about the woods tour.

Those who register will receive an email with log-in instructions.


Legion trees

The American Legion’s McMinnville Post is selling Christmas trees.

Douglas and Grand Noble firs are available from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the post, located at 126 Atlantic Ave. in McMinnville. The fundraiser will continue until the supply runs out.

Proceeds will go to Legion activities and charitable projects.

For more information, call the Legion, at 503-435-2218.


OnPoint support

OnPoint Community Credit Union announced on Giving Tuesday, Dec. 1, that it is donating $5,000 to the Yamhill Community Action Partnership. The gift is part of $30,000 in donations to regional charities outside the Portland area and $75,000 to Metro charities.

OnPoint has a branch in McMinnville. YCAP serves Yamhill County with a food bank, housing assistance and other services for people in need.


Holiday wreaths

McMinnville Area Chamber of Commerce’s Women in Business program will host a virtual holiday wreath-making class at 5:15 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 15.

During the Zoom session, participants will learn to make their own wreaths and bows. A materials packet will be distributed to those who register prior to the class. 

Cost is $20 for Chamber members and $25 for non-members.

Go to for registration information. 


Forest ornaments

The Willamette Valley Visitors Association is hosting its third annual ornament hunt on non-wilderness trails in the Willamette National Forest and the Umpqua National Forest this season.

About 150 Christmas ornaments have been hidden along trails that were not affected by wildfires. Hikers who find the ornaments can register to win a prize of an overnight stay in the Willamette Valley.

Three different wooden ornaments are hanging on trees. Each features the image of a forest creature and includes a Willamette Valley leather patch, along with instructions about how to register.

Trail information and hints about where to find the ornaments are available on the Willamette Valley Visitors Association page,

The contest will run through Jan. 1, 2021, or until all the ornaments have been discovered.


Chamber Greeters

Sherwin Williams paint store will be the location of the Dec. 11 Greeters program hosted by the McMinnville Area Chamber of Commerce.

The free program on Zoom will run from 8 to 9 a.m. Participants also can pay $1 and send a business card to enter a door prize drawing.

For more information, contact the McMinnville Chamber, at

Newberg’s Chehalem Valley Chamber of Commerce’s virtual Greeters program on Dec. 11 will feature the city’s economic health manager.

It will run from 8 to 9 a.m. via Zoom. Call 503-538-2014 for more information.

To submit items for consideration in Along the Street, email



Did you leave "farmer" out of the headline? Or did Mr. Payne actually turn into a tree?


I swear, this paper has sacked most of their staff and taken unpaid interns. This is the second article in this issue with obvious flaws.

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