I just heard some great news: when the U.S. team competes in the World Logging Championship in Germany next October, Jason Jensen, a resource forester for the Missouri Conservation Department, will be on it.
If you’ve never cut a large tree, watched its weighty mass come crashing down as it rips anything in its path, you likely haven’t thought about what it takes to do it right, to make it land where you want it to. Well, Jason apparently has not only thought a lot about it, but practiced too.
I asked him how he got into this, what he values about it. He said, “I started competing in 1999 in our Missouri State Game of Logging finals. I won our state finals in 2000 and again in 2003, finishing 6th in both.” He tried again this year and made it to the top three, so he’s on the U.S. team for next year in the world competition.
“I am a pretty competitive person, and I enjoy running a chainsaw. I get a lot of satisfaction out of applying management prescriptions to the forest and seeing the end result.” That’s “prescription” as in directions for loggers to use in which trees to cut and where to have them land. In some ways you could say Jason and foresters like him are kind of woods doctors, giving out prescriptions for healthy forests.
“I supervise a lot of loggers that are working on timber sales that we manage. When I mark a tree or tell them where I want a tree felled they know that it can be done. If more loggers use these directional felling skills our forests will be much better cared for.”
The competition events included tree felling, fitting a chain, bucking of combined cuts, precision bucking and limbing.