Forestry Club takes second at annual forestry skills competition

April 8, 2014

CLEMSON — The Clemson University Forestry Club placed second out of 15 university teams and finished in the top three in nine individual events at the 57th annual Association of Southern Forestry Clubs Forestry Conclave hosted by Virginia Tech.

The second-place finish is believed to be the highest ever for Clemson.

“This is a huge accomplishment and a team effort by a group that is made up mostly of underclassmen,” said John Bowers, senior forestry resource management major and forestry club president.

Clemson overcame its inexperience by training twice a week for several months leading up the competition, and finished ahead of regional rivals Virginia Tech, N.C. State, University of Tennessee, Auburn University, University of Florida and LSU, among others. Stephen F. Austin State University from Nacogdoches, Texas, took first place.

The conclave is a two-day event featuring competitions in a number of physical and mental forestry skill challenges, such as logrolling, chain throwing, crosscut sawing, log chopping, compass and pacing, tree diameter estimating, dendrology and photogrammetry.

Clemson brought a cohort of 22 team members to Claytor Lake State Park, Va., host site of the conclave. The club is led by Tamara Cushing, forestry club adviser and Clemson University Extension forestry specialist.

Team members’ results in individual competitions included:

First place wildlife identification: Morgan Reed, Graniteville; Denis Pressley, Barnwell

First place archery: Timothy Brady, Easley

Second place women’s bow saw: Elaina Alcocer, Newberry

Second place compass and pacing: Jesse Burdett, Piedmont

Second place chain throw: Jesse Burdett; Evan Ledford, Spartanburg

Third place men’s bow saw: Nate Larck, Elgin

Third place log rolling: John Bowers, Taylors

Third place pole climbing: Cal Arnold, Union

Third place women’s crosscut: Elaina Alcocer; Samantha Bruce, Taylors

The Association of Southern Forestry Clubs Forestry Conclave host site rotates among its member forestry schools and will come to Clemson in 2016. The Clemson University Forestry Club is supported by the School of Agricultural, Forest, and Environmental Sciences (SAFES).