Northern Sierra Chainsaw Training and Certification Weekend

Join us for the Northern Sierra’s 2024 annual Chainsaw Training! The saw training will be held in Quincy, CA on the Mt. Hough Ranger District of the Plumas National Forest. This is a 2-day training that utilizes the U.S. Forest Service’s Developing Thinking Sawyers Curriculum with an opportunity to be evaluated at the A and B levels (Bucking Only).  Participants MUST bring long pants, long sleeved shirt, and cut resistant shoes with adequate ankle support. PCTA will provide other personal protective equipment (PPE), such as eye & ear protection, gloves, chainsaw chaps, and hardhats.

PCTA will also provide chainsaws and saw packs but please feel free to bring your own, especially if that’s what you use when maintaining trails.

This event is open to PCTA volunteers and members only.

Copies of current first aid and CPR certifications must be presented to attend saw classes. The application process is very competitive. Submitting your application does not guarantee admission to the training. Learn more about the Saw Training and Certification program.

Register here:

When is it?

June 1st – June 2nd, 2024

Where is it?

The classroom session on Saturday will be held at the Mt. Hough Ranger Station in Quincy. The field day on Sunday will be held at Snake Lake, a few miles west of Quincy. Camping is available on Friday and Saturday evenings at the Spanish Creek Campground, Group Site A outside of Quincy on the Plumas National Forest. Dinner will be provided by PCTA Saturday evening.

What certifications are offered?

Initial Chainsaw Certification

Initial chainsaw certification is a two-day class. This class is intended for individuals with moderate saw experience applying for A level certification or experienced A level sawyers now ready to apply for B level certification. Volunteers will be grouped to allow B level candidates to demonstrate saw crew leadership and saw skills. B level candidates are encouraged to bring their own equipment. Please note: The PCTA saw program only certifies sawyers for bucking operations.

(Note: Due to time constraints, it’s possible that not all evaluations will be completed over the weekend, but PCTA will prioritize scheduling future field evaluations with each participant and as needed.)

Where can I find the Developing Thinking Sawyers Curriculum?

On the Saw Training & Program Documents Page

Do I need a current First Aid and CPR card?

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 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]. First Aid Certifications must include an in-person component (cannot be online-only) per OSHA requirements.

Who can attend?

Saw training and certification events are open to PCTA volunteers and members only. Registration is highly competitive – submitting an application does not guarantee acceptance.

Attending PCTA’s Saw Training and Certification Course does not guarantee certification. Certification cards will only be issued to those who exhibit proficiency, safety and leadership using the saw.

Students are required to wear gloves, long pants, long sleeves, and leather, over the ankle, cut-resistant boots.

Please forward questions pertaining to the Saw Training and Certification to [email protected].


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