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Soper-Wheeler Coaches Forestry Challenge Students

Marysville High's Forestry Challenge team
Marysville High's Forestry Challenge team

Marysville High’s Forestry Challenge team

October 2013, Ryan McKillop, Inventory Forester –

Recently, Soper-Wheeler helped coach five students from Marysville High School for the 2013 Shasta Forestry Challenge.

The Forestry Challenge is a competitive event for high school students that encompasses technical forestry and current forestry issues.

The event was held September 25th through the 28th at Mountain Meadows Camp, east of Shingletown, California. The Challenge had a total of 48 high school students from seven northern California schools.

This is the second year that Marysville High has participated, but the first year that Soper-Wheeler staff foresters helped prepare the team for the competition.

Two weeks prior to the competition, Ryan McKillop, a staff forester, spoke about a range of forestry-related topics to three classes as part of the science curriculum at Marysville High.

From that point, a team of five students was chosen for the competition. The five spent an afternoon with Ryan in Brownsville learning some of the skills they would need, including tree identification, compass and pacing, traversing, timber cruising, forest management, and pests.

The team placed second in the traverse, and fifth overall in the field portion of the competition.

The Forestry Challenge students with Engine 33

The Forestry Challenge students with Engine 33

At the Mountain Meadows Camp, the teams received more hands-on training by two Registered Professional Foresters, a fire and fuels specialist, and an engine from the U.S. Forest Service.

Mountain Meadows Camp was partially burned in the 2012 Ponderosa Fire. The Camp owners decided to take some steps to protect the property from future fires, and hosted the event.

The students were able to review the current fire management plan and then in their presentations, make suggestions as to how best to revise the plan to make the Camp more fire resistant.

“This is more than a field trip, as students must work as a team, prepare, and deliver a presentation,” said Marysville High School teacher Bonnie Magill.

Chelsie Vieira, a junior at Marysville, summed it up as follows: “The Forestry Challenge was very educational and fun. I have learned a lot about forest management.”

If you are interested in the California Forestry Challenge please visit their website: www.forestrychallenge.org



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