700 Sixth Graders Tour the Forest

 Michelle Cottier a firefighter with ODF geared up Feanix Hightower of Chiloquin Elementary and instructs her how to use the fire hose of  Oregon Department of Forestry  Engine 8150 at the 54th Annual Klamath County Forest Tour. Image:  Brian Gailey

Michelle Cottier a firefighter with ODF geared up Feanix Hightower of Chiloquin Elementary and instructs her how to use the fire hose of Oregon Department of Forestry Engine 8150 at the 54th Annual Klamath County Forest Tour. Image: Brian Gailey

Keno Ore. - Located 11 miles out side of Keno Oregon near the Spencer Creek Drainage off Clover Creek Road is the Klamath Forestry Tour. For the past 54 years, this tour has been educating Klamath County sixth graders through individual stations about; forest products, recreation, survival, reforestation, tree identity, soils, water, forest management, fire suppression and wildlife.

"Sixth graders spend two days in the forest, learning about the forest...after 54 years we are expecting the great grandchildren of the original students that attended all those years ago to attend this week." Daniel Leavell.

Leavell adds, "It's a wonderful way to get to know the forest and uses of the forest and to teach them about different aspects of the forest environment."

Students arrived by bus to the location where they lined up to head to the different stations. Each station taught the classes something different about the forest.

At the Tree Identity station, Mr. Mike McKittrick and his students from Ferguson Elemtary learned how to use a classification diagram to determine if a tree was a True Fir or a Douglas Fir. Students also were able to identify what a Sugar Pine is as well.

At the soil station, Mrs. Kay Linmans' class from Henley Elementary learned about different layers of soil and how they impact all living things above ground.

Students from all local elementary schools were able to participate in this program. Students from Mrs. Sara Thomas' sixth grade class from Triad were able to hear about survival techniques if they were to become lost in the woods.

"We think of ourselves as being a rural area, but it is surprising how many kids in town, that this is their only experience out here. Getting out into the forest and seeing what really goes on." says Ron Loveness.

At the forest management station, Patrick Peterson and Jennifer Case from the Oregon Department of Forestry obtained a core sample from a fir tree. This core sample, was then used to educate the kids on how a tree can be aged without being harvested. This technique is used to better understand the forest and help selectively harvest trees for a healthier forest.

The tree they captured a sample on counted to be 96 years old. That means when the Forestry Tour started in 1963, that fir was a young 42 years old.

VIDEOS
Live Interview - http://bit.ly/2fmZSwj
Reforestation - http://bit.ly/2fmUaL4 
Forest Management - http://bit.ly/2fmZL3R
Recreation / Survival - http://bit.ly/2fmvNNg