By Rachel Wehrman, Sophomore crop science major
and Erin Sheridan, Freshman crop science major
Cal Poly’s logging team is a group of men and women interested in forestry and traditional timber sports. The team is student run, therefore, the individual will improve based on effort and participation at practices and in volunteer work. In competition, individual success is critical for the team as a whole because each competitor earns points for the team’s grand total. There are a wide range of events to compete in, some individual and some partner.
The most popular partner event is double bucking and/or Jack and Jill. In these events, both partners use a long cross cut saw to cut through a log as quickly as possible. It is called Jack and Jill with a man and woman and double buck with two of the same gender.
Some individual events include chopping, climbing, and axe throwing. In chopping events technique and precision are important factors. The idea is to chop through your block more quickly than your fellow competitors. As for climbing, participants race to the top of a pole or tree using specialized equipment. It is a timed event, women typically climb to 30 feet and men climb to 50 feet. Axe throwing is based on how accurately the competitor throws to the center of the target. This event requires patience and practice. The closer to the center the more points gained. While the previously mentioned events require physical ability, there are also technical events which are equally as important.
Some technical events include wood identification, traverse, and dendrology. These events require a broad knowledge of tree species and general forester skills. Specifically, in traverse the competitor is required to find a precise location using only a compass.
Our Cal Poly Logging team competed at the biggest logging competition of the year, the Association of Western Forestry Competition (AWFC). This year AWFC was hosted in Flagstaff, Arizona. Not only was this experience a time for us to give it our all in competition, but it was a time to come together as a cohesive group. Next year Cal Poly will host AWFC. To prepare and gain experience, several new student recruits attended the competition as well. The upcoming members in particular were able to truly see how much time and dedication being successful in timber sports takes. In order to prepare for hosting the competition, we will be putting an immense amount of time and effort, but are all extremely excited to bring AWFC to Cal Poly.
Through commitment and hard work, we took home first place at this year’s AWFC and are working hard to defend the title on our home turf next year. Being able to compete in such a large competition exposed us to the very skilled competitors we will face in years to come. There’s no doubt we’re proud to be a part of a team that we can always count on to send it.