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Post-Tornado Wilderness Logout, BWCA

PostedCOLON June 19th, 2022, 5:20 am
by PATCsawyer
I had the opportunity to volunteer some time with a North Country Trail/USFS crew last month to clear about a mile of tornado-damaged trail in northern Minnesota. The wilderness area was remote and a long (for me) canoe paddle to the camp and work site. My tool selection is probably of most interest to those here. The working conditions were tight, most trees were less than 20" DBH, and all were softwood with red and white pine the predominant species. I selected a 54" Simonds #325 as the go-to saw, a 66" Simonds #13 for larger trees and a 48" Simonds 503 one-man cut down from a larger saw. All three saws were filed 12/12. For a small saw, the #325 was not difficult to single or under buck with.

My constant companion was a jersey head axe with a straight 28" octagonal handle for limbing, under bucking, and wedge driving.


Re: Post-Tornado Wilderness Logout, BWCA

PostedCOLON July 2nd, 2022, 4:53 pm
Sounds like a great opertunity and experience. That is a beautiful place. The 325 was probably great in those conditions to allow for wedge work in the complex binds I am assumimg you had. Nothing better the a trusty jersey!

Thanks for sharing your experience.

If you were to go back what would you change if anything?


Re: Post-Tornado Wilderness Logout, BWCA

PostedCOLON July 6th, 2022, 9:39 am
by PATCsawyer
I would've brought two more people (we had five). Another pair of sawyers/swampers would've finished the logout and had time to fill in some of the worst rootball craters. I had all the tools we needed with a couple of one man's to spare. Most of the limbing was done with Silky saws which took more time than a sharp axe, but axe skills were a little light and the crew was more comfortable with the Silkys.