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 submitted 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 2024 events?

March 30th & April 6th-7th in North Bend

Registration has now closed. 

This is a three day saw certification event for both Chainsaw and Crosscut, for those that would like to become certified as an A Sawyer or advance their A certification to a B Sawyer, and also for sawyers with expiring A or B certifications who need to be re-certified at the same level.

As this is a certification event, YOU MUST HAVE prior experience as a swamper on log-out crews, either through the PCTA #103 Basic Saw Crew class or through participation in multiple log-out work parties. If you’re interested in becoming a certified sawyer but have no prior experience with log-out, the PCTA #103 Basic Saw Crew class is the right place to start.

Participants must attend the March 30th classroom session in order to attend the field evaluation the following weekend.

We’ll spend day one, March 30th, in the classroom, covering safety procedures, bind analysis, and specific equipment and techniques to enable volunteers to safely use saws for trail maintenance. Day two, April 6th, we’ll wrap up any remaining classroom work in the morning and then head to a field location to develop our skills & practice using chainsaws on low complexity log-out scenarios. Day three, April 7th, we’ll be back in the field all day for skill practice with saws, more complex cuts, B Sawyer candidates refining their saw crew leadership, and finishing up with evaluation of students to become certified or re-certified.

Optional camping will be available the evening of April 6th at our field location at the Middle Fork Snoqualmie Campground.

There will be limited opportunity to do your field evaluation on April 6th/7th in Darrington, WA (rather than North Bend). If you would like to take your field evaluation in Darrington, please let us know by emailing [email protected]. You must still take the classroom portion at the North Bend location on 3/30.
Note: because we have brand new training materials from the Forest Service for 2024, we’re asking candidates for re-certification to attend ALL of the classroom training sessions, which is a change from past years. We’ll try to prioritize re-cert field evaluations on April 6th, but re-cert candidates should conservatively plan on attending all three days of the certification event as we work out the kinks in this new format.


Do I need a current First Aid and CPR card for saw certification?

Yes. PCTA staff and volunteers cannot operate chain or crosscut saws unless they hold a recognized and valid sawyer certification, First Aid, and CPR card. PCTA must have copies of current First Aid and CPR qualifications in order to issue saw certification. After applying for North Cascades saw trainings, applicants will need to submit copies of their certification cards via PCTAConnect (Navigate to “My Volunteering” and select “My Certifications” to upload) or email them to [email protected].

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