Our Summer of Service program is in full swing so let’s take a minute to learn more about one of our land crews, the Trail Blazers.
As a sawyer crew out of our Denver office, the Trail Blazers will be using chainsaws for invasive species removal and wildfire fuel mitigation in national and state parks around Metro Denver throughout the summer. The Trail Blazers are made up of 12 Corpsmembers, including four of our ACLCs: Bridgette, Gabe, Nate, and Lauren.
Earlier last month, the Trail Blazers went out to James Newton Park near Conifer, CO for their chainsaw training and certification. A group of instructors from the Forest Service helped demonstrate the proper techniques for felling trees and chainsaw maintenance, then handed over the saws to our fearless Corpsmembers.
For some of the Trail Blazers, this was the first time ever holding a chainsaw. The seasoned saw crew veterans of past summers smiled wide at the familiar buzzing and quickly fell into the routine of assessing the tree, shouting warnings, making the proper cuts, and dodging the falling pines. All of the Corpsmembers caught on quickly to the process and soon they were dropping dead Ponderosa pines left and right. By the end of the first day, the Corpsmembers had cut down, “bucked” (cut into movable sections), and limbed at least two trees each. Not too shabby for their first time with a saw!
On the second day of training, most of the Corpsmembers were already prepared to take their certification test. Each Corpsmember had to cut down, buck, and limb three trees without help from the instructors or other Corpsmembers. They were assessed on the placement of their cuts, use of the proper cutting procedures, and of course, wearing all the right safety equipment. We are pleased to report that all of the Corpsmembers on the Trail Blazer crew passed their tests and are now S-212 Chainsaw certified for this summer!
As all the crews, Trail Blazers included, head out to the field this month, we wish them the best. Crews serving this summer will be making a tangible, meaningful impact on their communities by keeping our public lands safe and open for use. So get outside, enjoy the parks, and if you see our crews out working, stop by and say hello. Just keep an eye out for falling trees!