Friday, September 23, 2011

Forest fest to test woodsmen's skills on Oct. 1

The log birling event is always popular at the Forest Fest. (UAF Photo by Todd Paris)

If you’ve got what it takes to compete in old-time woodsmen skills, mark your calendar for Oct. 1. The day’s itinerary includes ax throwing, log rolling, bow saw and crosscut sawing, fire building and more when the 14th annual Farthest North Forest Sports Festival occurs at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Everyone is welcome to participate as individuals or as teams of four to six. Observers are also invited to this free event. Awards will be granted to individuals, teams and the “Bull of the Woods” and “Belle of the Woods.”

Faculty members and students at UAF's Department of Forest Sciences developed the competition as a way to commemorate old-fashioned forest festivals. While high-technology tools are the norm for forest professionals in today's world, the festival pays tribute to a time when traditional woods activities were the basis for work and play, survival and revival.

The morning events begin at 10 a.m. at the Fairbanks Experiment Farm fields across from the Georgeson Botanical Garden. At 1 p.m. the games move to Ballaine Lake on Farmers Loop. A warming fire and hot drinks will be available at the lake. Participants are advised to dress warmly.

The festival is sponsored by the UAF School of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences Department of Forest Sciences and the Resource Management Society, a student organization. Contact Professor David Valentine for more information.

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