Letters of Recommendation
I recommend "The Art of Felling Timber" training seminars by Roy Hauser and his Team. This training provides our sawyers with an opportunity to develop and build their saw skills under the expertise of industry professionals. A combination of classroom instruction and hands-on training provides an ideal environment for gaining valuable knowledge and skills. The instructors emphasize the value and importance of creating a learning environment while providing feedback to students.
Roy and his staff provide the next level of training and instruction for agency sawyers looking to continue their knowledge and experience. Ideal instructor to student ratio allows for optimal observation, instruction, and guidance providing students with ample opportunity to practice what they have learned.
I highly recommend these workshops for anyone looking to advance their felling and bucking knowledge, skills, and ability.
I've worked for the Forest Service for sixteen years, with the last ten being involved with the Wyoming Hotshots saw program as either a sawyer or as the saw boss managing the saw program. I was recently asked by the Bighorn National Forest to take over the forest's saw program and am now the forest chainsaw coordinator. Outside of fire, I have also spent several winters in NW Montana and Idaho working for logging companies as a faller on steep line ground. I recently had the opportunity to attend Roy Hauser's The Art of Felling Timber class on double cuts and was impressed with the level of instruction and the emphasis on safety. I wish that I could've stayed to observe the fire weakened course as well, but based on what I saw in the double-cut seminar as well as feedback from the three sawyers I sent, I'm inclined to believe it's another quality course. If you're considering creating an S-312 class I would highly recommend taking a good look at Roy's class as something to utilize in whatever way you see fit. I feel he fills the gap in instruction between S-212 which is structured towards the beginner to intermediate sawyer on level terrain and what's expected of a true C level faller. His class focuses on effective, safe and efficient ways of handling large diameter trees on steep terrain which is beyond the level of instruction found in S-212. While I don't support a task book system for advanced fallers, I do think there's a need for a more advanced level of instruction targeting experienced sawyers. With fire personnel traveling to different areas of the country, I think instruction and hands-on guidance dealing with the most complex level trees they might experience on fires is crucial before being qualified as a faller 1. I realize some people believe training with shorter bars in smaller trees can act as a replacement, but in my opinion, it fails to address the challenges faced by the larger diameter trees commonly found in the western coastal states, Northern Idaho and NW Montana. Roy's class has the benefit of being located in an area with lots of complex large diameter trees as well as cadre experienced in regularly falling them and dealing with the common challenges associated with them.
You can tell Roy has spent considerable time assembling and refining his class and there's been years of work spent on creating his book. I hope that you take the time and really consider what he has to offer. If we want to develop safe, advanced sawyers within the wildland community I believe Roy's program is a great tool to utilize.
Some 16 years ago CAL-FIRE tasked me with building a California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection State Wide Chainsaw Cadre that would be capable of teaching all levels of tree falling and safe chainsaw operations. The cutting of brush and timber of any size, whether it was green trees, snags, leaning or fire weakened trees. I was able to form a statewide cadre and from there adopted the NWCG-S212 and built the CAL-FIRE Chainsaw Policy and Procedures that is followed today.
During this time we could never find a reference book that paralleled our teaching to be used as a reference for our "C" fallers. A few years ago we found the book "The Art of Felling Timber" wrote by Roy Hauser. I contacted Roy and he forward a copy of his book to me. Myself and the Falling Cadre read his book and made recommendations to fine tune the book to fit into CAL-FIRE cutting standards.
Roy attended one of our falling classes and was very open and willing to make changes to fit our program. After the changes, CAL-FIRE has purchased his book and has disturbed it thru out the state to the "C" fallers to use as a falling reference tool.
I began my career in 1987 for the USFS on the old Galice Ranger District of the Siskiyou National Forest. I received my 'C' Class certification in 1991 under the tutelage of Cliff Phillips, a long time 'C' Class certifier.
Five years ago, Roy and I first met at my desk. He was telling me about his vision to create a tree felling class that emphasized the fundamentals of correct tree size up, creating a safe work zone, developing a proper work plan, and utilizing proven felling mechanics on the stump. Roy's passion in teaching others the art of felling timber flows from his core. This trait is what drew me into supporting his endeavor.
I fully support Roy Hauser's advance chainsaw felling seminars and felling procedures. He has published a useful textbook called “The Art of Felling Timber” that is provided with his seminars. Roy does a great job of explaining the mechanics of felling timber, especially fire weakened timber, and the concept of an effective felling team. Roy wrote an excerpt in the S-212 saw course and ran the saw crew for the Zig Zag Hot Shots. He has also worked extensively as a timber faller for industry, and has trained many industrial timber fallers, Roy has the patients and clarity needed to instruct folks on the art of timber felling. I will say that I have been a C class faller since 1991 and I have learned something from Roy every time I have been involved with his classes.
Roy's class is set up for new B&C fallers, with experienced C fallers to help mentor. I have been involved with many recertification classes over the years by Winston Rall, Dan Syfert, Herman Baertschiger, and other instructors and I have learned something from all of them. I do however feel that Roy does the best job of breaking everything down starting with proper size up, developing a safe plan, creating clear collaborative teamwork, adequate swamping, and finally the mechanics of felling - or not felling a tree. I do not see why folks would be reluctant to buy into his program. I fully support what Roy is trying to do and know it will save lives.
The Nevada Division of Forestry and its Helitack Program began to send its employees to The Art of Felling Timber Workshops in the spring of 2019. The seminars were highly recommended by an employee with a Faller I qualification and contract timber falling business and has proven to be an integral element to our agency's development of sawyers and chainsaw operations policy.
For many years, the Division of Forestry has sought to improve our policy and abilities in relation to advanced chainsaw operations. The Division has had many capable and competent sawyers working within the fire and resources programs but has failed at establishing policy to guide operations and training to promote their abilities, expand their knowledge and develop the next generation of sawyers through training. An ambitious Training Program Manager and a few vested individuals sought after obtaining this training to not only expand on their abilities as sawyers but to also bring back tools to share with the rest of the Division.
There are many positive results of the 3 individuals from Battleborn Helitack and the 5 Conservation Crew Supervisor's attending The Art of Falling Timber Workshop. The employees have gained valuable insight from the both contract timber faller and agency sawyer perspectives which would be unattainable within their normal job specifications. As our helitack program typically lands on remote fires with varying complexity of fire involved hazard trees, having capable and qualified fallers on each helicopter module allows our program to be more versatile in handling complex snagging operations. Conservation Crew Supervisors not only need to have the chainsaw operational ability but they also need to direct 10-12 inmate staff in safe chainsaw operations while maintaining productivity on state or cooperator projects. The workshops not only provide them to tools to be competent fallers but also insight on how to instruct individuals with basic principles or mechanics.
Last but certainly not least, The Art of Falling Timber has helped my agency develop tools that provide a foundation for qualifying and promoting timber fallers. With a directed effort from the Safety and Training Program, a committee comprised of individuals of varying backgrounds and skill levels has implemented a new Saw Operations Guide, agency-specific Faller Taskbooks, refresher/currency training and begun planning for a Faller Academy held in the Spring of 2020. All of these pieces constituting our agency chainsaw operations, draw on principles, tools or experience gained at the Art of Felling Timber Workshops. The efforts of Roy Hauser and his team have benefited the Division of Forestry and Nevada immensely.
I am writing to provide a statement of support and recommendation for Mr. Roy W. Hauser with regard to his competence as a professional timber cutter and his aptitude to train and mentor others in this line of work.
In my role as the Chainsaw Training and Certification Coordinator for Oregon/Washington Bureau of Land Management (BLM), I have a strong interest in ensuring the safety and efficiency of our agency chainsaw operators. The Western Oregon BLM Districts of Medford, Roseburg, Coos Bay, Eugene, and Salem manage some of the most complex timber cutting environments in the country with tall trees, steep ground and a considerable amount of old-growth, decadent timber; these lands are intermixed with high value, industrial timberlands and the logging industry remains strong in this part of the country. With some tracts too steep or trees too large for mechanized operations, professional timber cutting contractors still live in our communities and work in our forests. To this end, BLM has sought to involve professional timber cutters in our training program wherever possible and our policy requires professional endorsement for advanced certification.
Roy approached me nearly 5 years ago to promote the timber cutting manual and seminar program he had developed entitled "The Art of Felling Timber.” I took the time to audit a few of his seminars in early 2016 and immediately found him to be a gifted and patient coach with a strong, infectious passion for safe and efficient timber cutting practices. I now regularly promote Roy's seminars throughout Oregon/Washington BLM and frequently use the workshops as an opportunity for certification or recertification of our advanced sawyers. Moreover, I have personally witnessed dozens of our agency sawyers go through Roy's training program, attending multiple workshops over several years, and I can say without hesitation that his program has been effective at rapidly improving their skills.
Timber cutting is an inherently dangerous operation and there is a severe learning curve for agency sawyers to move from the apprentice to advanced level of competency, requiring literally thousands of hours on the saw and dedicated mentoring. Felling fire weakened timber or hazard trees requires even more experience and training. Professional timber cutters with the interest and aptitude to train agency sawyers are a unique asset, and I feel Roy Hauser meets this criteria at a high level.
As the state Wildfire Division Safety Officer for the Washington Department of Natural Resources, I was asked to participate in a double cutting seminar in October 2018. My participation in the seminar was two-fold, one to maintain my status as a chainsaw operator/trainer for the department, and two to evaluate the program for our Wildfire Operations Section to determine if the course would be beneficial for DNR fallers to attend to improve their falling skills beyond S-212 Wildland Fire Chainsaws. Upon completion of the program, I was left with several take-aways:
- The instructors were extremely attentive to the safety of all participants. Their respect for the comfort levels of each participant was appreciated.
- Classroom time with associated exercises before conducting field work was beneficial.
- While 5-212 is relevant, there is a need for a curriculum that takes safe chainsaw operations to the next level. Advanced falling, double cutting, and fire weakened timber most certainly do that.
- The Art of Felling Timber would be a great addition to our saw program, specifically for our intermediate and advanced fallers.
My last take-away is that I was left wanting to return to attend each level of seminar for my own education and skills improvement. In the year since I've attended the double cutting seminar, I've had an opportunity to work with several other cutters who have attended The Art of Felling Timber. I've asked them what they took away from the seminar and if they would recommend it to others, and the answer has always been a resounding "Yes!"
I have been using chainsaws as a federal employee for 18 years, in fire and non-fire situations. I am now the Medford District chainsaw lead, which means I am responsible for all the chainsaw training, qualifications, and certifications for 80 sawyers on the district. Our program has twelve, C level (type 1) sawyers and expanding. Since this is a collateral duty for me, I often have a difficult time fitting all the training and advanced level cutting into my schedule. I also, coordinate all hazard tree felling over the district.
Three years ago, Roy Hauser came to me with an idea, more than an idea, it was a well-planned advanced cutting course that was already in the advanced planning stages, Roy pitched “The Art of Felling Timber” to me and I thought it was a great idea. Myself, and 5 other Medford C sawyers attended a course in Grants Pass that Roy had setup. As this was just the beginning, we all learned together how these courses would work. But the overall execution was good. This really set the stage for what has blossomed into a very sought after higher level of sawyer and tree felling training.
Over the last three years, Roy has found ways to fit in more courses and bring more people into his program. He has not only done advanced courses, but also catered to our new and less experienced sawyers by putting together beginner bucking and felling courses. The attention to detail that Roy gives regardless of what cutting course he is teaching is unparalleled by any other chainsaw training I have ever attended. Above that, his attention to safety is always top-notch. This art has the potential to be dangerous and involves lots of situational awareness and a high level of coordination to make everything work day after day, and Roy always puts this first.
Roy Hauser has been an asset to the Oregon BLM, Forest Service, local and county EMS programs and countless private industry personnel over the last three years and I only expect it to get better. I believe in his methods and I am inspired by his motivation. I cannot think of anyone better suited to help design an advanced felling and bucking course for federal agencies to utilize. There is not another program like “The Art of Felling Timber" that promotes the same level of felling and bucking skills for wildland fire sawyers, and his book and methods should be incorporated into an advanced felling course.
" They explain clearly and their experience shows. "
" Roy does a great job of teaching safe and proper cutting techniques of large trees, to both beginner and advanced Sawyer's. "
“ What a resource, seeing all the information in one textbook. ”
" The two-dimensional saw was great. The book is awesome! A lot of information. Very good, great knowledge! "
"I found the workshop very useful. I favored the two-dimensional exercise and expert presenters. "
"The real life experience and insight that was shared on a wide array of felling situations was invaluable. There was a very clear explanations to everyone's questions."