Working in Clark County: Karin and Randy Finch, White Oak Alpacas

The Columbian 
By: Lyndsey Hewitt
Photo: Courtesy of Alpaca Culture

Original content from The Columbian.
 
WOODLAND — Tired of Southern California and its city living, Karin and Randy Finch left for greener pastures — literally.

The Finches made that decision in the mid-1990s when they had hit their 50s. They found themselves a slice of land in rural unincorporated Clark County … and a herd of alpacas, the silly-looking cousin of the more well-known llama.

They operate White Oak Alpacas, 39908 N.E. 12th Ave., Woodland, named after a 300-year-old oak tree in the middle of the pasture where the alpacas graze. The ranch is hilly and scenic, normally offering a view of Mount St. Helens. But on a recent Wednesday morning, the haze was strong from wildfire smoke covering the region; the grasses brown from a summer of little to no rain.

Journey to alpacas

After leaving Orange County, Calif., and his successful tree-pruning service, Randy Finch knew he wanted to get back to working the land. He and Karin Finch just didn’t know right away that it would be shearing alpacas for their fiber.

Read the rest of this story and view the photo gallery at The Columbian.