Westwood High School students participate in the 2019 Forestry Challenge near Shingletown, recommending various vegetation management options for Shasta Forest Timberlands. They are Jaydee Urtiz-Haro, front left, Destiney Pemberton-Bennett, Jasmine Williams; back left, Whitney Diaz, Carson Gibbs, Dedrick Suggs and Cassie Anderson (advisor) holding son, Carson.  Photos submitted

Westwood students participate in Shasta Forestry Challenge

Six students from Westwood High School participated recently in the 2019 Shasta Forestry Challenge. They were just one group of a total of 89 high school students from 14 schools from northern and central California. The event took place Sept. 25-28 at Mountain Meadows Camp, east of Shingletown, California.

Whitney Diaz, a student from Westwood High School, uses a clinometer to measure tree height, one of the many skills learned at the 2019 Shasta Forestry Challenge.

One of the highlights for the students this year was the opportunity to collect data on a 120-acre parcel of mixed conifer forest owned by Shasta Forests Timberlands and managed by W.M. Beaty & Associates. Using a computer program called Visual Forester Professional created by Alpine Land Information Services, students were able to visually model various management options and recommend a path forward. During the Challenge, teams of students also completed a field test to assess their technical forestry knowledge and data collecting skills.

“The Forestry Challenge is an amazing opportunity for students to learn about the field of forestry through hands-on experiences,” said Westwood High School teacher Cassie Anderson.

Destiney Pemberton-Bennett, a senior at Westwood, summed it up as follows: “It was an amazing experience, learning the different possibilities in forestry these last four days.”