August 2014 - It's that time again. My daughter already started her sophomore year, and I wonder how much earlier school will continue to start in our district before they jump the date back a week. But, being back in school mode gets me back to work, which is good. There's lots to do before the events start next month.

I am excited to say that the 2013 Annual Report has been mailed, not only to past and potential sponsors, but to the principals of all of the schools that participated in 2013. Teachers, I've asked your principal to pass these copies along to you. Sponsors are stepping up in a big way, and almost every day I receive a check from another devoted sponsor. I'll update the "Sponsors" page of the website soon.

And if you're on Facebook, go to the Forestry Challenge page and vote for your favorite t-shirt color for this year. So far, maroon has a slight edge over blue, with purple and brown trailing. I'll have to make a decision by the second week in September, so be sure to cast your vote soon!

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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