July, 2014 - I'm in "nose to the grindstone" mode here at Forestry Challenge HQ. I have sent out about 115 Annual Reports for 2013. It is amazing to think about how each report sent represents a company that sponsors the event, a facility that houses an event, or a volunteer who dedicates hours of time to the Forestry Challenge.

I'm pushing to get it done because I'm going on a 60 mile, 7 day backpacking trip next week in the Southern Sierra. I'm excited to spend some time amongst the giant sequoias, and also in the barren high country. My friends have not spent time with the giants, and I am as excited to see their reaction to the trees as I am to be there myself.

As I look forward to seeing all of you in the forest this fall, I am happy to tell you about the donation 100 hard hats and 100 pairs of safety glasses from John Deere. Thanks, Thad Currier, from the Construction & Forestry Marketing Division, for making it happen. We will all be safer out there in the forest as a result.

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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