Thursday, August 25, 2011

Smoky Moutain News Cover Daniel Jones and Coach Jimmy Lawrence

Wednesday, 24 August 2011 15:25

Article about HCC Student Daniel Jones in The Smoky Mountain News.

Chopping prowess lands woodsman coveted spot in national championship

Written by Colby Dunn

In 24 seconds flat, Daniel Jones can chop through a 13-inch white pine log, perched atop it and swinging his sharpened ax in a downward arc into the braced timber. That, at least, is the kind of time he’s going for. Today, he’s standing on a much harder poplar round behind his coach Jimmy Lawrence’s house. There’s a whole setup of timber-cutting apparatus out there, training grounds for Jones’ upcoming run in the collegiate championship of the Stihl Timbersports Series. Jones just graduated from Haywood Community College, where he was a member of the timbersports team. His competition record this year was good enough to advance him to the national final in Oregon this week. Timbersports isn’t exactly a household word, but woodsmen hacking away at logs or frantically sawing cookies from felled trees might seem a little more familiar, thanks to ESPN. Getting ready for practice, where he’ll run through his four events — underhand chop, standing block chop, cross-cut saw and chainsaw — Jones suits up in chain mail to protect his legs and steel-toed tennis shoes. Is the chain mail really necessary? “Well, one of the professionals, he actually almost cut his calf off,” replies Jones. So that would be a ‘yes.’ But, say Lawrence and Jones, injuries like that are pretty rare. Part of that must be because the dangerous work is over so quickly. In the upcoming competition, Jones will be going against five other competitors and what counts is time and time alone. In the chainsaw event, for example, he must saw two platter-sized cookies from a four-inch section of log. And it’s done so quickly that if you turn your head, you’ll miss it.

That’s not to underestimate the physical ferocity Jones has to bring to the practice. He’s no small guy, and after leaping back and forth astride that block, he’s well out of breath, and it’s clear that he’s using every stroke as efficiently as possible.

“That’s the first thing you’ve got to break everyone of,” says Lawrence, who coaches the HCC team. “Everybody tries to swing as hard as they can.” And that might be how you split firewood, but it’s not how you win. Some of his team members, says Lawrence, have been chopping wood since childhood. Some have never touched an ax. And since it’s the only team the college has, it’s pretty popular. But everybody essentially starts on equal footing; no one comes in as a high school star.

Part of what Jones likes about it is the heritage behind it. Timbersports were born in logging camps, and they have a working history that few other sports share. Although Jones wasn’t an avid chopper before he joined the team, there was some foreshadowing that he might end up here. "When I was little, me and my brother would go out in the woods and chop trees down and pick the biggest one we could, see how we could get them to fall,” says Jones. Asked if he’ll continue on into professional competition circuit after this, he says he’d like to, thought it’s a bit of a financial hurdle. A good ax can cost hundreds of dollars. A good cross-cut saw, with its long, wobbling blade, can run into the thousands. There are only a few firms in the world that produce them, and each tooth is hand-filed. But if he wins this week, he’s got an automatic spot in the pro tournament. It’s not something he could make a career of, but he hopes it’ll still be a part of his life. “Even in the professionals, you don’t make a lot of money,” says Jones. “You just do it for the love.”

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Visit to Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest

Natural Resources students recently visited Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest as part of their Silviculture Course. Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness, created in 1975, covers 17,394 acres (70 km2) in the Nantahala National Forest in western North Carolina and the Cherokee National Forest in eastern Tennessee, in the watersheds of the Slickrock and Little Santeetlah Creeks. It is named after Joyce Kilmer, author of "Trees." The Little Santeetlah and Slickrock watersheds contain 5,926 acres (23.98 km2) of old growth forest,[1] one of the largest tracts in the United States east of the Mississippi River.

The Babcock Lumber Company logged roughly two-thirds of the Slickrock Creek watershed before the construction of Calderwood Dam in 1922 flooded the company's railroad access and put an end to logging operations in the area. In the 1930s, the U.S. Veterans of Foreign Wars asked the U.S. Forest Service to create a memorial forest for Kilmer, a poet and journalist who had been killed in World War I. After considering millions of acres of forest land throughout the U.S., the Forest Service chose an undisturbed 3,800-acre (15 km2) patch along Little Santeetlah Creek, which it dedicated as the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest in 1936.[2]

Monday, March 14, 2011

HCC Forest Management Students Visit Dupont State Forest

As part of their capstone course, students in the forest management technology program recently visited DuPont State Forest. Mr. David Brown, DSF Forest Supervisor, gave an excellent tour. Topics included: hemlock woolly adelgid eradication efforts, forest recreation, BMPs, continuous forest inventories, and American chestnut reestablishment.

The DuPont State Forest is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains between Hendersonville and Brevard, North Carolina. Its 10,400 acres of forest feature four major waterfalls on the Little River and several on the Grassy Creek.
The original 7600 acre forest was established in 1996 through a generous bargain sale from the DuPont Corporation. In 2000, the Forest was expanded by two property additions, including the spectacular 2200 acre tract in the center of the Forest containing High Falls, Triple Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls. (From:


DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES MANAGEMENT @ haywood community college: 2011 Game of Logging...: "'(The BEST!) The class of Level one and two, Game of Logging Course! HCC took 6 of 8 placements!!!!!!!!...and that's all I gotta say 'bout ..."

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

HCC Forestry Club Adopts Highway

The HCC Forestry Club recently adopted a section of Hospital Drive near HCC's Main Campus. Shown from left to right are: Hunter Edmundson, Andy Fitzsimmons, Dillon Michael, Caleb Ferrel, Clinton Wickers, Myles Arnette, Casey Straganc, and Joseph Lineberger.

The club plans on cleaning the section of highway by HCC's main campus once a month.

Monday, February 7, 2011

HCC Student Chapter of the Society of American Foresters Attends APSAF Conference

The HCC Student Chapter of the Society of American Foresters recently attended the annual APSAF (Appalachian Society of American Foresters) meeting held in Charleston, South Carolina. The topic of this year's meeting was, "The Road Before Us: Does It Look Like Anything We Have Seen Before?". HCC chapter members were able to hear from professional foresters, researchers, and other natural resources professionals on how emerging timber markets (woody biomass, cellulosic ethanol, and carbon credits) will impact the demand for forests and forest products. In addition to the technical sessions, students were able to network with potential employers, university faculty and staff, and also their peers from other colleges and universities.

Two highlights of the conference were an urban forestry tour lead by foresters from the City of Charleston and MeadWestvaco and a visit to the "Angel Tree" which is proclaimed to be the oldest living tree east of the Rockies.

We greatly appreciate all those that provided financial support, without your help many of our students would have not been able to attend. Special thanks to: HCC Foundation, The Kenny P. Funderburke Educational Endowment, North Carolina Division of SAF, and Mr. and Mrs. Tom and Cathy Bishop.