Exercise in history

By John McCaslin

Brian Shultz of York, Pa., was among several sawyers on hand at the historic Pinnacles Research and Stewardship Center in Shenandoah National Park, where the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, led by veteran woodsmen Patrick Wilson and Dan Dueweke, held a safety and efficiency workshop on axe chopping and crosscut sawing. Each tool demonstrated was from an earlier era, albeit with edges sharper than razor blades.

In Shenandoah and other national parks, removing fallen trees from trails has been described as an exercise in living history, as no chainsaws are allowed: just old style, human-powered tools like axes, two-person crosscut saws, and wedges. “The workshop was well attended and the students were engaged. Another class of sawyers ready to clear storm damage in the Park,” Dueweke commented.

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