Yesterday and today, hundreds of elementary through high school students from around the north state gained an understanding of how high-tech the logging industry is becoming.
In the photos, from the top: Students from Corning High School watch a delimber take bark and small limbs off a log; hot saw operator Loren German talks to fifth-graders from Cottonwood Creek Charter School; Shasta College heavy equipment program students Patty Franks and Heather Boswell show off a frontline fire dozer; a log loader moves logs; a logger prepares to fell a tree with a hand saw; and a tree masticator creates mulch.
The photos were taken at a working Sierra Pacific Industries timber harvest site east of Shingletown. The Sierra Cascade Logging Conference hosts the education days in the woods each spring to counter some of the negative images of the timber industry created by some environmental organizations and their friends in the media.
Lately, a big focus of the field trips has been how computerized and automated each of the tasks have become. They also learn about the many jobs still available in timber. From a news release by the event's organizers:
Students from area middle schools and high schools will be taken through an actual logging operation during which they will be exposed to all the on site jobs and auxiliary occupations that are coordinated within timber harvesting.This event is always a magnet for local and regional media because of the great opportunities for photos and video, and not only of the teaching sessions. Because it's an actual logging site, a news outlet can gather enough stock photos or video to run with timber industry-related stories for the next year.
Students can expect to see how science and computer technology are integrated into forestry and how vocational education in this industry can lead to rewarding careers.
For my story on the educational sessions and on students' reactions, check CapitalPress.com soon.