Volunteer Day

A person wearing Chainsaw gear, a Corps helmet, and shirt, stands next to a chainsaw on a wood stump in a forest.

By Natasha Carlson, Bemidji Field Crew Member / AmeriCorps Member


We had a volunteer day where the Bemidji crew, a field specialist, and a field coordinator helped The Audubon Society just outside of Bemidji. I was really happy to have this day because it gives me and my crew members a chance to work on our power tool skills off the job site. We split up into two groups. One group widened the roadside and the other cleared a backpacking campsite of fallen trees. The first group used brush saws while the second group used chainsaws. I was in the group where we cleaned up the campsite. Our group consisted of the Bemidji field specialist, my crew member, and I. Our field specialist dropped a hazard tree by the side of the road. My crew member and I made sure no traffic was going to come through while he was cutting. After that, we all cleaned up the cut-up logs and put them in a pile on the side of the road for firewood. Then we drove to the spot and we had our day packs with our water and lunch and a first aid kit (just in case) and had to hike the rest of the way in. We looked at the site and measured up what we had to do, had lunch, and got right to it. There were a lot of fallen down trees. The Audubon Society wanted us to cut them up and pile them up for firewood. There were probably ten trees fallen on top of one another in a pile. There was one that wasn’t and so my crew member cut that one up. And I stacked the logs. Our field specialist started cutting up the trees that were in the pile to relieve the pressure on the logs. My crew member was able to cut down a half-dead tree with the top half missing. He sized up the tree, looked for hazards checked the lean, and cleared his escape routes we all got a good distance away. He did his open-notch face cut, then his back cut he had to come in a bit at an angle because the tree was growing right next to a smaller tree that we didn’t want to cut down, and after it fell, I cut the tree up into firewood-sized pieces while he stacked them. I cut up the sections that our field specialist had cut off from the piled-up trees. After that, it was time to pack up and head back to the shop where we cleaned our saws and sharpened our tools.

Someone standing next to a stack of fire wood
Stacked firewood from cut-up trees.
A person wearing Chainsaw gear, a Corps helmet, and shirt, stands next to a chainsaw on a wood stump in a forest.
Our field specialist standing next to the half dead tree.