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Interested in Becoming an OTA Sawyer?

By: April Scott
09/14/12 10:36:19 AM

We have had a lot of volunteers express interest in getting trained and certified to join the ranks of the OTA's sawyer crew. We are discussing a possible fall training course with our Forest Service friends and I need to find out how many people would like to take part. 

I don't want to scare anyone away from the challenge, but I do want everyone to be aware of the nature of the work as a sawyer. The fun part is getting to use a chain saw to clear the trail of tree trunks and limbs. There is, of course, a certain amount of danger always present, not only from the saw, but also from the tree that you are working on as well as other trees and limbs that may be affected by the tree you are working on. 

Many times, sawyers may have to hike some distance with their saw on their back during an outing and carry their saws in specially designed backpacks. You may clear several trees in a short distance, or you may cover a hefty distance, only sawing a few trees.

Sawyers are required to complete three sawyer outings a year in order to be re-certified. This participation can be through group OTA events or as individual events. Sawyers report their work and trail observations to the sawyer coordinator. If a sawyer is also a trail adopter, two of those outings are required to be on sections other than their adopted section. 

So, please, if you are interested in becoming a sawyer, email the sawyer coordinator at with your name and contact information. Again, we don't want anyone to be intimidated, but anyone interested should seriously consider the nature of the work and requirements. We have all different kinds of people who are active sawyers, so you are certainly not limited by age, gender, body type, or experience. If you have any questions, please email, or ask your friendly OTA sawyer!