Words by Gabriel Amadeus
Photos by Dylan VanWeelden
Our season of educational programming kicked off a few weekends ago with a Trailside Maintenance class from Gracie's Wrench and powered into full swing this past weekend with our first Sawyer Event. The weekend kicked off with an incredibly thorough First Aid, CPR, and Bleeding Control certification from our board member Kim McCormack and partners at Cascade Training Center. As Friday night rolled in, and Horse Creek Lodge rolled out the spread they had prepared for us we began to realize how spoiled we were going to be all weekend. In recognition of St Patrick's Day we feasted on corned beef, potatoes, cabbage, and one of the most decadent shepherd's pies we've ever seen.
As saturday dawned we arose and gathered around coffee and another decadent spread before bustling into the classroom to meet Kevin Rowell from the Willamette National Forest. He would be our guide, instructor, and evaluator for the next two days. We covered saw history, the underlying purpose of a sawyer certification, saw mechanics, and the many types of complexities one can run into in the forest. And of course, the skies cleared up and we were invited outside to the fire ring for song and cerveza after the sun and another splendid spread had set.
For our final day of instruction, practice, and evaluation we headed out to the woods and got as many hours behind the trigger as possible. We're excited to have brought another 15 chainsaw sawyers into the fold. Look for these valuable trail stewards and the work they do at our four Stewardship Campouts this spring. They're based in areas of high need that are rarely ridden. Last year's events were the highlight of many of our volunteers' summers and will introduce you to gorgeous terrain. These campouts will likely sell out, so register soon!
And if you feel like you missed out and still want to get certified as a sawyer to work with a power saw on public lands, you're in luck! The OTTA is hosting another Sawyer Event at Suttle Lodge on April 20-22. Learn more and register here.