Forestry challenge proves fruitful

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Students from Foresthill High School won fifth place overall at the 2009 California Forestry Challenge, where 80 students from 12 schools from all over California participated in the annual educational event, held Oct. 14-17 at Leoni Meadows Camp near Grizzly Flats. The team placed fifth overall out of a total 20 teams, and won a side contest called the Pacing Contest, where a 66 foot distance is determined without using a measuring tape. One of the highlights for the students this year was the opportunity to evaluate a 100-year forestry plan under development for the host facility. After spending a day collecting field data and interacting with foresters and wildlife biologists, students weighed in on some key issues, including sustained yield and the great gray owl. Piling brush to reduce wildfire risk, touring the onsite lumber mill, and exploring prehistoric archaeological sites gave the students further insight on accommodating the needs of the landowner while protecting natural resources. A student summed it up: “The California Forestry Challenge has given me the opportunity to become more involved in forestry, as I learned that it affects us all.”