In late May members of the Indiana Chapter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers were able to set aside a weekend with the US Forest Service Eastern Region Saw Program Manager for Developing Thinking Sawyers training. The USFS set up a special session dedicated to volunteer organizations that operate/volunteer within the Hoosier National Forest. The training consisted of 1 day of dedicated classroom instruction followed by 2 practical days in the field learning and practicing the methodologies taught. Concluding the final day of field practical, each candidate was evaluated by USFS Level C Sawyers and certified to their current abilities. The Indiana Chapter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers had 3 members obtain their Level B Bucker Certifications. Each of these members plans on continuing their training and certification with the goals of being qualified to teach the methods. This will allow the 3 members to certify other sawyers and "double down" on the impact our organization can have on USFS land/projects.
Recently Indiana experienced some severe weather and a lot of trees were blown down on many of our public lands. Chapter leaders Lucas Orgass and John King were able to engage with one of the other organizations that attended the training, Hoosier Mountain Bike Association, and get out onto the Yellowwood State Forest to assist with clearing many trees off the hike/bike trails. Lucas and John look forward to continued partnership with the HMTBA to gain experience and improve the trail network in Brown County State Park, Yellowwood State Forest and Hoosier National Forest.
This is exactly the work that we hoped to achieve through certification gained through this program provided by the US Forest Service. We plan to continue utilizing our training and continue to develop our skills to benefit stewards and public lands.
A huge thank you to the folks with the US Forest Service that planned and facilitated this event!