Every member of a volunteer trail crew who operates a chainsaw or crosscut on public land need to complete USFS sawyer training. This is the same training that USFS seasonal employees are required to complete and is designed to keep the crews safe. In years past this training was only available directly from the USFS, but due to the 2016 Saw Policy revision FSM 2358.05 it is now possible for organizations like Back Country Horsemen members with proper training and endorsements to train Trail Volunteers.
The 2016 National Saw Policy applies to all activities on National Forest System lands (NFS) that involve the use of saws, unless a separate interagency agreement covers that activity. The Forest Service Saw Program provides direction on qualifications, training, evaluation, and certification requirements for Forest Service employees, volunteers, Training Consultants, and cooperators using saws on NFS lands.

A Sawyer. An apprentice sawyer who may saw only in the least complex situations or, for training purposes, at the next higher level and in either case only under the immediate supervision of a B or C Sawyer qualified to supervise the work.

B Sawyer ̶ Bucking Only An intermediate Sawyer who may independently buck and limb any size material in moderately complex situations within the restrictions noted on the sawyer’s National Sawyer Certification Card and who may saw at the next higher level, but only under the immediate supervision of a sawyer qualified to supervise the work.

C Sawyer ̶ Bucking Only An advanced sawyer who may independently buck and limb any size material in highly complex situations based on the Regional Saw Program Manager’s or Saw Program Coordinator’s written recommendation, which must be supported by demonstrated advanced saw knowledge and skills and, in most cases, certification as a B Sawyer (FSM 2358.1, ex. 02); who may conduct classroom and field training within their skill level for A and B Sawyers; and who may conduct field proficiency evaluations within their skill level for A Sawyers and B Sawyers ̶ Bucking Only

Back Country Horsemen of Idaho has a number of members who have completed the required training, have the experience and required endorsements and have been conducting classes working in partnership with the USFS in region 1 and 4.

Certification need to be renewed every three years, so if your certification card has expired or doesn’t look like this, you need to attend a sawyer workshop in 2020. Contact one of the Sawyer instructors listed above to learn about a training opportunity near by.

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