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I got to talking with the FS today about the Woodlawn/Woods Mountain trail condition and I was informed that you can volunteer to adopt a trail, but that unless you have chainsaw certification from the FS, you aren't supposed to take chainsaws in there.

Has anyone:

1) volunteered as trail maintenance staff for FS?
2) "adopted" a trail section?
3) earned this chainsaw certification?

If so, please tell me what I'm looking at here as I start what I imagine may be a lengthy process.

Geoff
 

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Chainsaw Cert...

I've held a chainsaw certification for about 9 years now--the card is good for three years each time you certify or re-certify. The initial certification course is about 18 hours (two days) with a lot of classroom time followed by going out on the District, having the instructor assign you a tree and telling you where he wants it dropped. He'll drive a wooden stake in the drop zone, and you need to fell the tree within 5' of the stake. Do it and you've earned an 'unrestricted' chainsaw card good for three years. If you'd prefer, you can avoid the 'felling' certification, get a card restricted to 'no felling', and simply work trees up once they're on the ground. As previously mentioned, you must have a current First Aid/CPR card for your chainsaw card to be good...

Once you've earned the chainsaw certification, the card can be renewed in a one-day class, which includes some classroom review followed by the felling test in the woods...

A chainsaw operator must also have a 'spotter' when using a saw on the District; I think it's a good idea for the 'spotter' to also have First Aid/CPR... Most people taking the class bring their own gear, including saw, fuel & lube, chaps, long-sleeve shirt, helmet, eye and hearing protection, and leather boots.

At last week's PAS meeting we discussed the need for more certified sawyers in the group, and may consider paying an instructor for a class limited to 10 PAS members. The cost of the instructor was listed as $400; I'll gladly pay $40 or $50 to renew my cert...

Later,
TrailZen
 

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extrmtao said:
I have been inquiring about this for some time as well. I believe the first step is to get CPR certified. Then you can take a chainsaw course from any FS approved source.
I think you can take the saw course before the CPR but you need both to be fully approved.

Several PAS members got certified a while back. I think the USFS rangers did the course then SORBA paid for the CPR training from another source. I think the USFS saw course was offered for free but it's not offered regularly. It's offered when they have time to do it and I don't think that is very often for the rangers here in the pisgah districts.
 

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Sorry my post wasn't clear--I didn't pay for any of my previous certs... Because District personnel don't often have the time to give chainsaw certification classes, PAS looked into the cost of hiring an instructor to give the class for PAS members. I'd gladly pay for recert, even if it meant taking the entire class (18 hours) again, because I'd get the recert sooner and because paying for the class would probably allow others access to the class, as well.

And you're correct--you can take the First Aid/CPR class before or after the chainsaw class, BUT the chainsaw card is not valid without a valid FA/CPR cert...

Later,
TrailZen
 

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I've been doing a little trail work lately with a chainsaw and a little confused. The head trail builder for our local NF told me as long as you weren't part of an official trail crew and just clearing trees across the trail certification isn't needed. I've tried to look it up on FS website and that it is kinda how I read it as well. I've since heard the rangers can take a different view. I also saw where you can get permits to cut firewood, and didn't see anywhere that it required a certification. I mean if you think about it if someone is driving along a FS road and there is a tree across, what are you supposed to do? Clearing a trail is kinda the same thing IMO. Can anyone point me to anything OFFICIAL for clarification?
 

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I've been doing a little trail work lately with a chainsaw and a little confused. The head trail builder for our local NF told me as long as you weren't part of an official trail crew and just clearing trees across the trail certification isn't needed. I've tried to look it up on FS website and that it is kinda how I read it as well. I've since heard the rangers can take a different view. I also saw where you can get permits to cut firewood, and didn't see anywhere that it required a certification. I mean if you think about it if someone is driving along a FS road and there is a tree across, what are you supposed to do? Clearing a trail is kinda the same thing IMO. Can anyone point me to anything OFFICIAL for clarification?
Contact the local USFS office. From what I was told, you need to be a certified Sawyer. And one USFS office may not accept the Sawyer certification from another. And the firewood permit thing is kind of a loophole. You can use it to cut downed trees for firewood, and choose not to haul it out.
 

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Contact the local USFS office.
This.

In one area where I lived, the USFS didn't permit volunteers to cut trees off the trail with chainsaws, period. No sawyer training was good enough for them. They wanted you to report the tree, and they'd send their crew out when they had accumulated enough reports across the trail system to send a crew out cutting trees over the course of however many days. If it was small enough to get with a hand saw, then that was okay for volunteers to do.
 

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This.

In one area where I lived, the USFS didn't permit volunteers to cut trees off the trail with chainsaws, period. No sawyer training was good enough for them. They wanted you to report the tree, and they'd send their crew out when they had accumulated enough reports across the trail system to send a crew out cutting trees over the course of however many days. If it was small enough to get with a hand saw, then that was okay for volunteers to do.
I mean talked to the head trail builder, I don't know how much more I could contact the local office. Luckily where we are working is very remote, and the LEO's seem to be very lazy and out of shape!
 
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