Written by Dan Beaman.
Seven NWTA members congregated at the Middle Fork Ranger Station in Westfir, OR on the morning of March 14th. Unbeknownst to them, this would be the last sanctioned group event for the foreseeable future. The group was a mix of Northwest Trail Alliance & North Coast Trail Alliance Local Stewardship Teams, NWTA’s leadership team members, and trail crew leads, all eager to gain a new skill set. The NWTA had partnered with the USFS Middle Fork District to train these 7 individuals to USFS safety standards for the art of chainsaw work. While moving dirt is a huge part of our organizations trail building efforts, there are occasions where we have to remove down trees in order to push our trails forward. As our organization grows in numbers and continues to support a large swath of trails in the Northwest, it is important that we have properly trained individuals to support all the work, and this includes chainsaw use.
All of Saturday was spent in the classroom, discussing all aspects of safety, learning the language of sawyers, and going over case studies of different bucking and clearing situations. Sunday was used to put those skills to work by helping to clear part NF-1910, the designated MTB climb route to get to the top of the Alpine Trail. All attendees successfully completed their certification, and the organization is now stronger with seven more A and B level sawyers. We are especially grateful to the instructors, Kevin Rowell from the U.S. Forest Service – Willamette National Forest, and Matt McPharlin from Oregon State University and the Alpine Trail Crew Association, for the time they donated to teaching the course. The entire group had a fantastic time, and can’t wait to get out and put their new skills to good use!
If you are currently an NWTA member in good standing and would like more information on becoming a USFS certified sawyer, or you need help getting recertified, please contact Dan B. at [email protected]
Thank you to Delight Valley Blades for their product donation to support our sawyer training efforts.