Sawyer Certification Program

http://www.bcho.org/wp/educat/sawyer-certification-program/


The saw certification program from Back Country Horsemen of Oregon (BCHO) is sanctioned by the US Forest Service Region 6 (USFS). For more details on this program please download the BCHO Instructors Documents and Requirements.

In order for Back Country Horsemen of Oregon (BCHO) to be in compliance with the United States Forest Service (USFS) Health and Safety Code Handbook (FSH 6709.11) section 16.3 a Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) must be undertaken to identify aspects of a specific trail project that are potentially hazardous.

To operate a crosscut or chainsaw on a BCHO workparty you must be certified by a BCHO Certified Instructor. Today most chapters have one or two BCHO Certified Instructors. The sawyer certification mainly includes safety training and does not provide training on the basic use of a chainsaw other than safety aspects how it relates to bucking techniques.

Any BCHO member wishing to be certified for chainsaw or crosscut saw should contact their chapters certified instructors. We will try to get them list here so you will know when to call.

Prerequisite Training

For those signed up for a certification class and never been certified before through the Forest Service, the PCTA or BCHO, there is some very good reading and video material below to help you get started. It is organized below by the type and level of the training.

  • Chain Saw and Crosscut Training Course – Student’s Guidebook, (Full PDF) or (view on-line) The recommended reading is Chapters 1,2, & 5 for Crosscut Sawyer and read Chapters 1, 2, 3, & 4 for Chainsaw Sawyer in this Forest Service training manual.
  • This 43 minute video, shown top right, is a companion to the Forest Service “Chain Saw and Crosscut Saw Training Course.”
    It is a very good video you should watch only the first 25 minutes. The second half demonstrates falling tress and BCHO members will only be bucking.
  • Saws That Sing – A USFS Guide to Using Crosscut Saws – (Full PDF) or (view on-line), For the Crosscut Sawyer this is also a must read.
  • An Ax to Grind – A Practical Ax Manual – (Full PDF) or (view on-line)
  • An Ax to Grind Video, Hand tools For Trail Work – USDA Forest Service 1999, Watch Part 1 video, 26 minutes on Crosscuts, Loppers and Digging Tools – Watch Part 2 video, 25 minutes on Axes, Sledge Hammers, Handles and Sharpening. For both the Crosscut and Chainsaw Sawyer these videos are recomended viewing. They a both execelent videos, they cover the correct way to use many of the had tools used today.
  • Chainsaw Training Video – Two videos showing how to deal with side bend (view on-line) and spring pole (view on-line) conditions. These will be used in the class room to discuss Side bind and spring poles. They are very short, 2 minutes each, optional viewing.

The 16- to 32-hour saw training course is designed to provide the technical knowledge and basic skills employees or volunteers need to use chain saws and crosscut saws safely. The training course materials include two guidebooks and two PowerPoint presentations. The instructor's and student's guidebooks are identical—except that the instructor's guidebook also contains instructor's notes.

The links below are to low-resolution (72-dpi) Acrobat files for easy download and printing.

Chain Saw and Crosscut Saw Training Course Student's Guidebook

Chain Saw and Crosscut Saw Training Course Instructor's Guidebook

The links below are to high-resolution (300-dpi) Acrobat files for the highest quality printing.

Chain Saw and Crosscut Saw Training Course Student's Guidebook

Chain Saw and Crosscut Saw Training Course Instructor's Guidebook

The links below are HTML files for viewing and accessibility:

Chain Saw and Crosscut Saw Training Course Student's Guidebook

Chain Saw and Crosscut Saw Training Course Instructors's Guidebook

The links below are to PowerPoint presentations that can help students learn how to make safe sawing decisions and recognize common mistakes that occur during sawing operations:

Situational Awareness Exercise for Chain Saw Sawyers (

Situational Awareness Exercise for Crosscut Sawyers

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