North Cascades Saw Training and Certification

Photo by Don Sanderson.

The Pacific Crest Trail Association and U.S. Forest Service invite you to the North Cascades Saw Training and Certification events. Qualified participants can earn crosscut and chainsaw certifications and re-certifications. These saw trainings are possible thanks to safety and operation agreements with the U.S. Forest Service. These events are open to PCTA volunteers and members only. The PCTA saw program only certifies sawyers for bucking operations. 

Copies of current First Aid and CPR certifications must be presented to attend PCTA saw certification events. The application process is very competitive. Submitting your application does not guarantee admission into the training. Learn more about PCTA’s Saw Training and Certification program.

When and where are the events?

  • April 7-8, 2018: Crosscut and chainsaw re-certification in Randle
  • May 5-6, 2018: Crosscut training and certification in Darrington
  • June 2-3, 2018: Crosscut and chainsaw training and certification in North Bend
  • Registration is required for all events

What certifications are being offered?

April 7-8 in Randle

This training will offer Crosscut and/or Chainsaw Re-certification only. Registration is limited. Please note: The PCTA saw program only certifies sawyers for bucking operations. 

May 5-6 in Darrington

This training will offer Initial Crosscut Saw Certification and Crosscut Re-certification. Initial crosscut saw certification is a two-day class. It is intended for initial saw certification of individuals with moderate saw experience applying for Trainee (A) level certification; or experienced Trainee (A) level sawyers now ready to apply for Saw Operator (B) level certification. Volunteers will be grouped to allow Saw Operator (B Level) candidates to demonstrate saw crew leadership and saw skills. Saw Operator (B Level) candidates are encouraged to bring their own equipment. 

Crosscut re-certification will be offered on Saturday, May 5. Please note: The PCTA saw program only certifies sawyers for bucking operations. 

June 2-3 in North Bend

This training will offer Initial Crosscut and Chainsaw Certification, as well as Crosscut and/or Chainsaw Re-certification. Initial crosscut and chainsaw certification classes are separate two-day classes. These classes are intended for initial saw certification of individuals with moderate saw experience applying for Trainee (A) level certification or experienced Trainee (A) level sawyers now ready to apply for Saw Operator (B) level certification. Volunteers will be grouped to allow Saw Operator (B Level) candidates to demonstrate saw crew leadership and saw skills. Saw Operator (B Level) candidates are encouraged to bring their own equipment.

Chainsaw and crosscut saw re-certifications are separate classes, each taking about six hours. Volunteers are encouraged to bring their own equipment, as long as it complies with saw safety requirements. Volunteer instructors will do their best to support dual re-certification requests and will work with these volunteers to complete the dual certifications in one day. Re-certification classes will be offered on Saturday, June 2, but may take place on Sunday, June 3 as well. Please note: The PCTA saw program only certifies sawyers for bucking operations.

Do I need a current First Aid and CPR card?

A current First Aid and CPR certification is required for a saw certification to be valid. PCTA staff and volunteers cannot operate chain or crosscut saws unless they hold a recognized and valid sawyer certification, First Aid, and CPR card. After completing your online application, applicants will need to submit copies of their certification cards to the PCTA Sacramento office by email or mail ([email protected]; 1331 Garden Highway, Sacramento, CA 95833).

If a current First Aid and CPR card is not on file at the PCTA Sacramento office prior to the training, your registration will be terminated and you will be unable to attend.

How do I register?

Registration instructions will be available soon. In the meantime, contact [email protected] with any questions.

If you’re interested in PCTA’s saw training & certification courses, please remember that the saw application process is very competitive. Submitting your application does not guarantee admission into a training. Acceptance is based on previous saw experience, recommendation from PCTA or partnering organizations or agencies, or attending one or more of the following courses at previous PCTA Trail Skills Colleges:

103 Basic Saw Crew Training

  • Available April 21 in North Bend and
  • June 23 at Rainy Pass
  • Contact [email protected] for more information

297 Chainsaw Practicum

104 Intro to Chainsaw for Prospective Sawyers

Please note: attending North Cascades Saw Training events does not guarantee saw certification. Certification cards will only be issued to those who exhibit proficiency, safety and leadership using the saw. PCTA must have copies of current First Aid and CPR qualifications in order to issue saw certification.

Students are required to wear gloves, long pants, long sleeves, and leather, over the ankle, cut-resistant boots. Saw-specific Personal Protective Equipment and tools will be provided, but students are encouraged to bring their own PPE (gloves, eye protection, hearing protection) if they have it.

Please forward questions pertaining to North Cascades Saw Training and Certification events to Barry Teschlog.

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Photo by: Nathaniel Middleton