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Forest Sports Fest scheduled for Saturday

Submitted by Doreen Fitzgerald
Phone: (907) 474-5042


Any and all potential lumberjacks are invited to enter the competition at the ninth-annual Farthest North Forest Sports Festival on Saturday, Oct. 7. Entrants can participate individually or in four- to six-person teams as they test their skills in the following events: pulp toss, axe throw, log rolling, one-person bowsaw, two-person cross-cut, Jack & Jill crosscut, fire building and birling.

The sports fest begins at 10 a.m. at the Fairbanks Experiment Farm field south of the railroad tracks. At about 1 p.m., the competition moves to Ballaine Lake on Farmer's Loop for log birling.

Started in 1998 by a few faculty members and students from the University of Alaska Fairbanks Department of Forest Sciences, the festival aims to promote informal interaction among UAF students, faculty and staff and with members of the Fairbanks community. The event is sponsored by the UAF Department of Forest Sciences, the School of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences, and the Resource Management Society.

"This festival pays tribute to a simpler time when traditional forest activities were the basis for both work and play, survival and revival," said John Fox, professor of resource management. "Across the U.S. and Canada, there's a network of colleges that hold similar events, along with some intercollegiate competition and multi-school conclaves," Fox said. "The spirit of the UAF event is to simply give it a try and have fun. Of course, friendly competition and team challenges are welcomed!"

Participants are advised to dress for warmth, especially head, hands and feet. Log birlers should have dry clothes to don after the event. Hot drinks and a warm-up fire will be provided at Ballaine Lake, where the birling contest is held.

For more information, contact John Fox at (907) 474-7084, or by e-mail at john.fox@uaf.edu.

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