HSU Nabs Eight Wins in Logging Sports

Humboldt State University’s Logging Sports Club racked up eight victories, four second places and seven third places in contests at the 2009 Association of Western Forestry Clubs Conclave, which was held for the first time in tandem with the Redwood Region Logging Conference, March 19-21, at Redwood Acres Fairgrounds. Part of the action was captured by a crew from ESPN U. You can check out a slide show at "ESPN's Timbersports site":http://sports.espn.go.com/outdoors/timbersports/gallery?page=index_2009….

HSU finished second overall in the tournament with 11 other schools, including UC Berkeley, Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo, Oregon State and the Universities of Montana, Nevada, Idaho and Northern Arizona. Competing community colleges were Flathead Valley, Kailispel, Montana, Central Oregon-Bend and Modesto Junior College.

HSU competitors notched individual wins in men’s and women’s birling (balancing on a floating log), women’s stock (unmodified) saw, men’s timber cruising (tree volume inventory) and traverse (traversing a course), women’s obstacle pole, men’s single buck (individual peg-and-raker cross cut saw contest) and women’s horizontal hard hit (fewest number of axe blade strikes to cut through a log).

The Humboldt State team captured the top five spots in dendrology (plant and tree identification), traverse, women’s birling and men’s and women’s second places in the pulp toss (pulpwood stick throw.)

Third-place rankings went to Humboldt State in women’s limber pole (running along a thin tree, cantilevered over water), men’s caber toss (throwing a heavy, six to eight foot long pole as a test of strength) , women’s single buck, women’s standing block chop and women’s double buck.


“We did very well as a team,” said Casara Adkins, vice president of HSU’s Logging Sports Club, who won the women’s axe throw and stock saw events, finished second in the pulp toss and posted third in dendrology. “There were a lot of new kids on the team and I was so proud of how successful they turned out to be,” she said afterward.

Whitney Chaney Buttleman, a senior in natural resource interpretation who won the women’s birling competition, registered a perfect score of eight match wins among 24 competitors.

Kelsey McGrath, a freshman recruited to the club by Adkins, placed second to Buttleman.

Another freshman, forest hydrology major Jack Kidder, won the men’s birling contest with scarcely three weeks of practice.

The Association of Western Forestry Clubs was founded in 1937 by members of the Montana Forestry Club. Logging sports contests were first mounted in 1953 and the 2009 competition was the 58th annual conclave. The association has 17 full and six associate member schools across the western United States.

The annual Redwood Region Logging Conference, in its 71st year, educates students and the public about logging and forestry practices, awards scholarships, directs grants and provides support for faculty who attend the Forestry Institute for Teachers. This year’s forum marked the first time the collegiate sports competition was held in conjunction with the conference.