Antigo School District 5th graders and high school forestry and environmental science students recently had the opportunity to visit a logging site to learn about forestry and the forest products industry. The day was hosted by the Steve Marshall family with support from Wisconsin DNR, Langlade County Economic Development and members of the forest products industry.
While at the logging site, students visited stations and learned from professionals in the forestry industry. They observed a processor cutting down trees, removing the limbs and measuring and cutting them to the correct length. They were then loaded onto the skidder to be moved to the landing where they will eventually be loaded onto trucks to be hauled to the lumber yard or to a paper mill. The students were amazed at how quickly and efficiently the processor works.
At another station, students learned about some of the tools that foresters use to inventory the forest. Foresters from the DNR showed the students how to measure the diameter of a tree, the height of a tree and how to determine how many board feet of lumber are in a standing tree. The also showed them the tools used to scale lumber and explained what goes into doing a forest inventory.
Representatives from a paper mill showed the students a variety of paper products made right here in Wisconsin. They demonstrated the paper making process and described how different types of paper are made.
A portable saw mill was the focus of another station. Students observed a log being sawed into lumber and heard about the decisions that have to be made to get the best quality and quantity of lumber out of a log.
The 5th grade students spent the rest of their day at the school forest learning about invasive species and the importance of pollinators. Haley Lucas from the Langlade County Conservation Department led a lesson and activity on invasive species. Students learned what makes something and invasive species and why they are a concern to our native habitats. Baerbel Ehrig from the Oneida County Land and Water Conservation Department shared information on bees and other pollinators. Students learned about what each of us can do to protect and provide habitat for these important members of our ecosystems.
Events like this are valuable learning experiences for our students. It exposes them to an industry that plays a major role in our local economy and helps them realize how we are all connected to our natural resources, which is something we often take for granted. The school forest committee would like to thank all the volunteers who made this a special day for our students.
Source: Antigo Times