National Crosscut and Chainsaw Program

The National Crosscut and Chainsaw Program was created to train smart volunteer and professional sawyers across the nation.

Sawyers are vital to the trail world, as they are responsible for sawing timber, clearing brush and tripping hazards, and more. Such an important job requires well trained and responsible sawyers. The United States Forest Service (USFS) created the National Crosscut and Chainsaw Program to help train and certify sawyers for trail work.

Trail crews have shrunk in size over the last several years, and often only consist of 4 – 5 people, making it difficult to keep up with trail maintenance. Part of tackling this issue is certifying volunteer sawyers, and additionally training trail stewards to be able to train others in the field. This model allows for sawyer training to be available to people across the nation, and critically, allows the establishment of sawyer training opportunities outside of the traditional cadre of USFS trainers. This builds our nation's capacity by including skilled sawyer trainers working in nonprofits, volunteer groups, and for profit companies.

As the Forest Service explains, “The new Forest Service saw policy directs the use of chainsaws and crosscut saws on National Forest System lands. Forest Service employees, volunteers, partners, and other cooperators can now access consistent training, evaluation, and certification.”

The USFS website specifies the Sawyer Certification Levels available.

Forest Service employees, volunteers, partners, and cooperators can obtain 4 levels of certification for chainsaw and crosscut saw operation under the new saw policy:

  1. Sawyer trainee
  2. A Sawyer
  3. B Sawyer
  4. C Sawyer

The USFS website also announced, “New crosscut and chainsaw training modules will be available soon. The module-based training focuses on ‘Developing a Thinking Sawyer’ and emphasizes risk management, human factors, and sawyer safety. Forest Service sawyers can still attend approved training courses until the new program is finalized.”

Attached document published March 2021

 

Webinars on YouTube that you might like

Volunteer Engagement on the Appalachian Trail

Feb 1, 2024

Learn about the strategies and tools the Appalachian Trail Conservancy developed to enhance volunteer recruitment and engage more new volunteers.

The Trail Research Hub

Oct 19, 2023

Learn more about The Trail Research Hub that aims to grow trail-based research and evidence-based practice to support the professionalization of the Canadian trails sector.

More resources in this category

Secretary Haaland Designates Four New National Recreation Trails 

posted May 31, 2024

Four new National Recreation Trails in four states add 33.5 miles to the National Recreation Trails System.

Sign-On Letter and Congress Outreach: Join the Trails Community in Support of FY25 Federal Funding for Trails!

posted Apr 25, 2024

Your organization's support is needed to secure funding for our nation's trails in the Fiscal Year 2025 Appropriations legislation. Please take the two actions below and sign-on to the letter of support for trails funding and submit these funding requests with your House and Senate office websites. Please share widely with other trail organizations and user groups!

*** LAST CALL! REMINDER! *** 2024 North American Trail Sector Survey Open!

posted Apr 24, 2024

Deadline: April 30. American Trails is partnering with Trans Canada Trail to launch the inaugural North American Trail Sector Survey.

Apply Now! $45 Million in ATIIP Grants Available

posted Mar 20, 2024

Applications are now open for the first ever funding round of the Active Transportation Infrastructure Investment Program (ATIIP).


10,963 views • posted 03/15/2021