Tearing apart trees brings students together

Students participated in the pulp toss, bucksaw and other events at this year’s Foresters’ Day.

Students in the University of MinnesotaâÄôs Forestry Club participated in traditional lumberjack games on Friday at the St. Paul campus as part of its 74th annual ForestersâÄô Day . Faculty and students see the event as a special time to gather with those who care for forests and Minnesota forestry traditions. The games included a log roll, where students used peaveys âÄî a long stick with a point and a metal hook at the end âÄî to roll a giant log through two poles, pivot the log using the peaveys, and finally line up the log with two more poles. In the match split event, students used an ax to try to split a single upright matchstick in half. In the pulp toss, teams of four raced against the clock attempting to throw small logs between two poles about 20 feet away. Another event was the bucksaw, where two students were timed as they used a six-foot long crosscut saw to cut a slab of wood off of a log as fast as possible. Forest resources junior Steve Rudolph , the clubâÄôs new president, said although FridayâÄôs games were just for fun, the club competes with other colleges in some of the same events at the Midwest Foresters Conclave each fall. âÄúWe kind of like to pay homage to the tradition of forestry in Minnesota,âÄù he said. âÄúA lot of these games are the same kind of skills that they had to use on a daily basis.âÄù Besides physical activities, the students also took a dendrology quiz, which involved identifying trees by their bark, leaves and buds. Rudolph said he likes the club because it provides an opportunity to meet students and faculty in the department. âÄúItâÄôs a pretty big university, so itâÄôs a good chance to bring it down to a smaller level and get to know other students better,âÄù he said. âÄúIt also promotes a lot of interaction between club members and faculty.âÄù Forest resources senior and former club president Emma Schultz said not many students major in forest resources, which she described as âÄúthe art and science of managing forests.âÄù She said she would like to see more students in the department. âÄúI like to share this with a lot of people,âÄù she said. âÄúWeâÄôre constantly trying to figure out ways to get more people involved.âÄù With a low number of students in the department of forest resources , Rudolph said heâÄôd like to recruit more students. âÄúI think thereâÄôs a lot of people who would have an interest in it, itâÄôs just a field thatâÄôs not really highly publicized,âÄù he said. âÄúThereâÄôs a lot of jobs open in it, too.âÄù Some students in the club have summer internships at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources , he said. Other jobs include federal positions like forest management in the United States Forest Service . The clubâÄôs new vice president Dan Ek said he likes the outdoor labor of forest resources. âÄúItâÄôs a lot of fun,âÄù he said. âÄúYou get to be outside a lot. I donâÄôt want to be behind a desk.âÄù Alan Ek , head of the forest resources department , and DanâÄôs great uncle, said he enjoys events like FridayâÄôs because âÄúitâÄôs a mix of academics and pure fun.âÄù Carl Vogt , professor of dendrology, said he likes the games because they carry on past traditions in a fun atmosphere. Club secretary Rachael Nicoll said she likes the group because of the freedom she has to interact with students who have similar interests. âÄúItâÄôs a really good way to meet other people in the forest resources major,âÄù she said. âÄúYou can talk about trees and people wonâÄôt think youâÄôre weird.âÄù