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Chainsaw safety training offered for landowners

Contributed photo

Landowners participate in the Game of Logging training.

August 31, 2011

The Game of Logging (GOL) is widely acknowledged as the premier chainsaw safety training program in the country, offering hands on training. Top instructors across the country combine demonstration with participation to teach safety, productivity, conservation and cutting techniques. Wayne Conservation District (WCD) has made arrangements for the 4 levels of GOL’s at a price of $90 per level.

Members of the Northern Tier Hardwood Association (NTHA) are eligible to receive a 50% rebate on training. For more information visit www.nthardwwoods.org. Class size is limited to 12 participants. Each level is a full day (8 hours) and held outside. Pre-registration and payment is required by September 7.

Instructor Kevin Snyder of Pleasantville, PA has been a GOL instructor for 4 years. In addition, Kevin is also a certified logger under the Pennsylvania Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) program, and is the recipient of the Forest Resources Association’s (FRA) Appalachian Region’s 2010 Outstanding Logger award.

Prior to Kevin’s career as a GOL instructor, he was a five-time Game of Logging Regional Competition winner and the only two-time National Game of Logging Champion.
Training levels must be taken in order, however participants are not required to take all 4 levels.

Level 1 focuses on introducing the participant to open face felling and the development of techniques to safely use it. Topics covered include personal protective equipment, chainsaw safety features, chainsaw reactive forces, bore cutting, pre-planning the fell, and understanding hinge wood strength.
Level 2 focuses on maximizing chainsaw performance through basic maintenance, carburetor setting, and filing techniques. Limbing and bucking techniques are introduced, spring pole cutting is covered and more felling is practiced.

Level 3 focuses on techniques for handling difficult trees. Topics covered include limbing, height measurement, segment calculations, wedging techniques and hinge placement. The felling is done against the tree's natural lean and participants also limb and buck using techniques demonstrated in level II.

Level 4 (Non-Professional) focuses on safely felling difficult trees such as multi-stem, rotten, dead or dieing trees. This type tree is often felled during TSI (timber stand improvement) practices and firewood removal. This level is geared to the landowner or non-professional user group.