A Day in the Woods

After a bit of a drive, Tehama FARMS Advanced was greeted with the fresh mountain air on a late spring morning and temperatures that didn’t even warrant a sweatshirt. Sierra Pacific Industries invited our group to attend the Sierra Cascade Logging Conference Inc. “In Woods Forest Harvest Demonstration Day”. This is a day where a group of industry supporters take the time to carve out of the forest a 1-mile trail for groups of students who are led by experts in logging to hike and stop at several stations to see the very impressive logging equipment at work as well as meet and network with a variety of industry professionals.

Once we had been properly fitted with fancy hard hats to ensure everyone was exercising supreme safety, we started off following our leader who was a Wildlife Biologist for Sierra Pacific Industries. As we wandered through the woods we heard from many different local volunteer programs such as The Backcountry Horsemen and Shasta County Search and Rescue and the different ways they work with our logging industry to accomplish different tasks. Not only did we meet volunteer units, we also met Jim Lepage from Lepage Company who’s focus is building and maintaining the logging roads. He spoke with the students about the career opportunities with heavy equipment and why their jobs are so important to the logging companies. Of course safety comes first, so without quality roads the big rig drivers driving heavy loads of logs could not safely get in and out of these deep woods locations, but also how roads that they can safely drive a moderate speed on will increase efficiency and the number of loads one trucker can make with logs in a day. Time = Money.

As we rounded the bend we could hear the loud sound of a saw and smell the fragrance of freshly cut wood. This began our walk into what truly happens in the forest during a harvest. First we learned the different ways there are to fall, or cut down, a tree. We heard from a 30 year wood cutter about the tools and manual labor that goes into cutting a tree by hand which he demonstrated on a HUGE pine tree right in front of us. It was amazing to see his skill, precision, and speed with his chainsaw as well as the ability to make the tree fall exactly where he wanted. He was able to fall and cut into logs roughly 50 trees a day and therefore is used to process the trees who’s trunks are too large in diameter for the heavy equipment that we watched but are able to do closer to 1500-2000 trees in a day. We then followed the process to the landing site that was set up where a harvester was delimbing and cutting trees into “logs” of appropriate length, then a feller-buncher was gathering and loading logs onto a truck to be hauled off the mountain and to a processing plant. It was such an amazing experience to see first hand these GIANT machines at work and meet the men who were behind the controls.

Thank you too all those who took part at the In Woods Demonstration Day and Sierra Pacific Industries for inviting us to take part. The students thoroughly enjoyed it and have a much greater understanding and appreciation for the logging industry as a whole. We hope to be apart of it in the future!

Sierra Cascade Logging Expo

FARMS Advanced | Tehama County | February 7, 2019

Location of Field Day
Anderson, CA

Participating High Schools
Red Bluff High School
Los Molinos High School
Orland High School
Mercy High School

Field Day Host
Sierra Cascade Logging Conference, Sierra Pacific Industries

Summary of the Day:

Tehama County FARMS Advanced was invited by Sierra Pacific Industries to visit the Sierra Cascade Logging Expo in Anderson, Ca and learn all about the diversity in the logging industry. Living in Tehama County, we daily see logging trucks traveling down the road and these FARMS Advanced students also visited Sierra Pacific Industries during their year in FARMS Leadership which is one of the largest logging companies in Northern California. However, students don’t always think of logging as part of agriculture, so this opportunity was very fitting and gave the students an up close look at the equipment, and companies that are involved in the daily operations of this very demanding and regulated industry.

Walking into the largest forest products and construction equipment exposition in the west was very impressive and the students were greeted by Tommy 2×4 the mascot as well as some HUGE equipment. Throughout the day we explored all the different types of equipment that are used in the logging industry such as skidders, log loaders, and feller bunchers and were able to network with different operators as well as reps for the companies that manufacture the equipment.

“I was impressed at how expensive the equipment is and the amount of advanced technology they use for every job.” -Mary Pat Peterson, Mercy High School

Of course, at expo’s it’s not all business…the students also went through stations that included other aspects of the industry including a wildlife presentation, learning about sustainability of forests, how Cal Fire is involved and wildfire prevention, college students who were competing in different ax throwing contests, as well as watching a wood carver.

“It was very interesting being able to look inside the cockpit of the CalFire helicopter as well as being able to climb in where the firefighters would sit!” -Stephanie Mills, Red Bluff High School

Sierra Pacific Industries

FARMS Leadership| Tehama County | November 6, 2018

Location of Field Day:
Richfield, CA

Field Day Host:
Sierra Pacific Industries – Becky Roe and Kristy Lanham

Participating Partners:
Bill Carol, Joe Puentes, Christina Max, Jeff Jackman, Jim Hansen

Theme:
Technology and Manufacturing

Summary of the Day:
After such a severe wildfire year in CA, it was very fitting to visit Sierra Pacific Industries (SPI) and learn from one of the leaders in the logging and lumber industry what really happens to all those burnt trees after a major forest fire such as the Carr Fire.

Spending our day at SPI Richfield we were exposed to two different processing facilities: their remanufacturing plant and one of their millwork plants. Students broke up into two groups and had to opportunity to tour one of the plants and then did a speaking activity by presenting to the other group as well as SPI staff what they learned, careers they saw and what their favorite part was. Learning skills such as public speaking, preparing a presentation in a short amount of time, as well as how to collaborate with other students are all an important part of our FARMS Field Days. Some of the key things they learned exploring the facilities were:

“The wood in the Millwork was cut into small pieces and glued back together to form bigger pieces, then they press the wood to keep it’s form.”                                                                                                              – Melanie Flores, Orland High School Student

“Some of the jobs in the Reman facility are: chain pullers, banding, optimizer operator, and forklift driver.”                                                   -Zach Skaggs, Red Bluff High School Student

 

SPI and Red Emmerson are the largest private land owner with over 2 million acres of land between California and Washington. Therefore, they have very detailed processes and procedures for how they handle their land after a wildfire has roared through. Joe Puentes, one of their lead foresters, gave a wonderful presentation on the importance forest management and how they manage their forests differently being a private company versus a government agency as well as the extreme urgency of time to replant the forests and restore the environmental balance as quickly as possible.

“After a fire they replant double to amount of trees.”                            – Clayton Cox, Corning High School Student

” 12,000 trees a day can be planted for a crew of 12 laborers!”           – Forrest Powell, Los Molinos High School