The third Forestry Challenge Championship was held on April 21 to 23 at Camp Sylvester in Pinecrest, Tuolumne County. It was great to be back after a two-year gap, with 61 students from 10 schools participating. A cold late-season storm brought about 8 inches of snow as everyone arrived on Thursday, which was a new experience for many of the students.
The pause that COVID brought to this event allowed the reexamination of the format and update the focus topic to be more of a big-picture conceptual topic rather than a data-centric topic like with the fall events. Since the last Championship, we have had the two worst fire seasons in California history, which is the elephant in the room we couldn’t ignore. The focus topic highlighted the hundreds of relationships between multiple federal, state, local, and private stakeholders involved in solving the wildfire crisis and how those relationships can be strengthened to get work done. Students had the opportunity to interact with stakeholders both evenings in an exposition style format where they could move freely between stakeholders and interview them according to their preferences.
During the Challenge, teams also completed a rigorous field test to assess their technical forestry knowledge and data collecting skills. Prior to the start of the event, several school groups toured the Sierra Pacific Industries mill in Sonora and tours were also given at the SPI mill at China Camp after the event.
The results below are out of a possible 250 points:
First Place: Foresthill High School (Placer County), 199.3 points
Second Place: Palisades High School (L.A. County), 197.7 points
Third Place: Golden Sierra High School (El Dorado County), 185.7 points
Fourth Place: Golden Sierra High School (El Dorado County), 183.0 points
Fifth Place: Palisades High School (L.A. County), 178.8 points
Other schools at the Championship were: Charter Connections (El Dorado), Amador (Amador), El Dorado (El Dorado), Calaveras (Calaveras), Granada Hills (Los Angeles), Eleanor Roosevelt Community Learning Center (Tulare), and Nevada Union (Nevada).
Thank you to the 32 volunteers who provided forestry expertise and support for the event.