May 2015 - I want to thank the teachers who have pre registered for the fall events. As of right now, 260 students from 27 schools are signed up, and will receive the 50% discount on their registration fees. I would like to recognize Pat Foy from Charter Oak High School and Rachel Castongia from Summerville High School for recruiting a new teacher and getting the free registration I offered. Thanks, ladies!

It's been interesting to see that schools are not necessarily going to the event closest to home. Many are traveling to another part of the state to see a different forest type. Remember, you are free to go to any event that best suits your schedule.

Volunteers are also signing up to help out, and a few college students are already asking to be on staff. I'll be making one last push to get the word out about the May 31st deadline for the 50% discount. Then, in June, I'll turn my attention to visiting the event sites to lay out field tests and determine field trip routes. I also plan to take some time off to enjoy the forest. Teachers, I'll be thinking of you as you finish the school year and start a well- deserved summer break.

Until Next Month,


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Welcome to the California Forestry Challenge website. Information on the 2015 events is posted on the "events" pages. Schools that pre-register for 2015 events before May 31st will get a 50 percent discount on registration fees.




What is the Forestry Challenge?

The California Forestry Challenge is a competitive event for high school students in technical forestry and current forestry issues. Using the forest as the classroom, the California Forestry Challenge is project-based learning at its best.

Highlights include:

  • Field Training: Forestry professionals spend time with the students familiarizing them with common tree species, forestry tools, and the use of identification keys. This training serves as a review of information and equipment already sent to teachers during the summer.
  • Field Test: Working as a 2 to 5 person team, students complete a comprehensive field test, which includes identifying and measuring trees, analyzing stand data, and making forest management decisions. The scores from the testing stations are combined, and become 60% of the team's final score.
  • Current Topic Fieldtrip: Students are presented with a real life topic or situation. They then visit the field to ask questions and collect data. Students also do a service project such as tree planting or invasive weed removal, to give them a "hands-on" forest experience. At the 2012 events, teams created a "recipe" for Giant Sequoia regeneration, helped clarify a management plan for a family forest, and weighed in on a not-yet-approved Timber Harvest Plan.
  • Presentation: Guided by two consultation sessions with a Registered Professional Forester, students use all available information to put together a 15-minute presentation. A panel of three judges scores the presentation, which is worth 40% of the final event score. Top teams have presented to the CA Board of Forestry, the CA Licensed Foresters Association, and the Forest Landowners of CA.

If you would like to donate to help offset student and program expenses, use the PayPal button below.

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