RHS Forestry Class Learns Best Outdoors


January 22, 2022

Mosquito and tick free at Hayes Dam

by Jeff Olsen

Leif Eidsmoe took his senior high forestry class out to Hayes Lake State Park a week ago Wednesday

"We cruised some timber. For the most part, everyone was ready to go today," he said and then chuckled.

"Two wore tennis shoes. We had extra boots, but they didn't want them."

Guys or gals?

"Guys. The girls are always dressed appropriately, and they always seem to be prepared. Guys usually miss the mark on that one."

The students spent the morning in the woods and the afternoon out on Hayes Lake.

"We went fishing after lunch and got skunked."

Mr. Eidsmoe couldn't have asked for a better outing.

"It was fun today. It wasn't too cold, it wasn't too warm, everybody ate their lunches that they brought with. I had my thermos of coffee, so I was ready to go. The kids had a lot of fun."

Leif then tipped his hat to the Wannaska DNR foresters - Shane Delaney, Dale Donoho, Shawn Olsen, and Hannah Hinrichs.

"They did a great job with the kids. They've been helping me all year. There is only so much I can do with the kids because I'm not in the field," he said.

In Mr. Eidsmoe's train of thought, you go top shelf.

"Once you get someone from the DNR to help the students, they actually understand what the job is about and why it's important, and how much money you can make if you sell timber."

He added that the outdoor session was a great wrap up to the end of the semester.

"Delaney is by the book," said Leif. "So, the kids that were in his group realized that when he meant business, he meant business. It was time to cruise timber!"

He described it as a Grade A day.

"It went great. The kids were good, they dressed well, the foresters were great, and we had beautiful weather. I get lucky every once in a while with the weather when we do these things out in the forest."

Students' Essays

"The forestry field trip was fun and really reflected the material we have learned in class. We started by trudging through deep snow and uncovering tree species, heights, and plots. It was really interesting getting to do everything firsthand with the foresters because they have their own tricks and preferences when getting the job done." - Bodee Hovda

"The forestry class trip to Hayes Lake with the DNR was a great learning experience and opportunity. We spent the morning practicing how to calculate an area of woods, spin plots on that area, and how many cords were sellable. All while trudging through the deep snow, tripping over stumps, and getting wacked in the face with a branch. We even got to have a campfire to warm up after. Thank you DNR for bringing us to learn and have some fun." - Emma Butler

"We went timber cruising and went fishing. I learned how to map plots and figure out how many cords of wood that are in each plot. My favorite part was eating lunch around the campfire and going fishing on the lake even though we didn't catch anything." - Alex Wensloff

"We cruised 10 acres of a timber stand to find out what kind of trees and how many cords there were altogether. There were a variety of trees but jack pine was the dominant species. They were really tall, about 65 feet on average. The tree we cored was around 90 years old! I felt like I learned a lot from this." - Kylie Winkler

The Final Wrap

Forester Shawn Olsen noted that the students enjoyed tying together all they had learned throughout the class up to that point and seeing how it worked to set up a timber sale.

"We went out and cruised timber, measured trees, and cords per acre. They were split into four different groups. They all did a nice job on the different plots. They all participated and joined in. It went very well."

The students worked in an area right across from the Contact Station in a big stand of timber.

At lunch time, the class went to the dam site where one of the foresters had set up a fish house with heaters so they could warm up.

"A couple of them pretty much stayed in there the whole time," said Olsen. "We had the campfire going, too."

Nobody thought to bring the marshmallows.


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