November 2014 - There's nothing good about an out-of-date website. If I'm surfing and I see a website with the last update in 2010, it makes an impression on me. That said, I know I've been neglectful with my monthly update, and I realize that's not good at all.

So, with November almost half gone, I'm fixing that. With four events behind us, and the last one next week, it's been a great run this fall. We are still headed for the 300 mark for student participation (a 50% increase over last year), and it has been a pleasure to spend time with all of you. The weather has been perfect, and the volunteers have represented the forestry profession well.

But, before resting and reflecting on the accomplishments of 2014, I have the privilege of making new friends and catching up with a few past participants at the San Bernardino Forestry Challenge next week. I wondered, at the end of last year, if doing 5 events was a good idea. By next time this week, I'll know for sure, but I feel confident that the answer is a resounding YES!

Until next month,


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Welcome to the California Forestry Challenge website. Information on the 2014 events is now posted on the "Events" pages. New this year is the San Bernardino Forestry Challenge, now making the trip to a Forestry Challenge event convenient from anywhere in the state.




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What is the Forestry Challenge?

The California Forestry Challenge is a competitive event for high school students in technical forestry and current forestry issues. Using the forest as the classroom, the California Forestry Challenge is project-based learning at its best.

Highlights include:

  • Field Training: Forestry professionals spend time with the students familiarizing them with common tree species, forestry tools, and the use of identification keys. This training serves as a review of information and equipment already sent to teachers during the summer.
  • Field Test: Working as a 2 to 5 person team, students complete a comprehensive field test, which includes identifying and measuring trees, analyzing stand data, and making forest management decisions. The scores from the testing stations are combined, and become 60% of the team's final score.
  • Current Topic Fieldtrip: Students are presented with a real life topic or situation. They then visit the field to ask questions and collect data. Students also do a service project such as tree planting or invasive weed removal, to give them a "hands-on" forest experience. At the 2012 events, teams created a "recipe" for Giant Sequoia regeneration, helped clarify a management plan for a family forest, and weighed in on a not-yet-approved Timber Harvest Plan.
  • Presentation: Guided by two consultation sessions with a Registered Professional Forester, students use all available information to put together a 15-minute presentation. A panel of three judges scores the presentation, which is worth 40% of the final event score. Top teams have presented to the CA Board of Forestry, the CA Licensed Foresters Association, and the Forest Landowners of CA.

If you would like to donate to help offset student and program expenses, use the PayPal button below.

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