Despite its name, the Game of Logging is serious business, Lindloff explained.
“Competitors are not invited to the logging competitions until they’ve completed 3 or 4 levels of training,” he said. The first level focuses on felling and safety. The second focuses on maximizing chainsaw performance. The third level focuses on techniques for difficult to cut trees. The fourth focuses on harvests plans and productivity.
While many who compete are professionals, the training program has widespread applications.
“Anyone who owns a chain saw should go through at least the level one training,” contestant Mike Finnerty said. “Even if you only cut firewood, the level one class can’t be overestimated. It’s best to know how to go home after work with all your body parts.”
At noon, the competitors took a lunch break and milled around the festival with the crowd. Food vendors offered an assortment of foods. Merchandise vendors came from near and far, displaying wood products such as benches, furniture and boats. Equipment used for logging was interspersed around the grounds to gaze at.
Woodworker and cabinetmaker Brian Harnett demonstrated chain saw carving, creating bears, eagles, fish, trolls and dinosaurs from hunks of wood to the awe of onlookers.
The Catskill Forest Association had a booth with samples of unmarked bottles of maple syrup produced by 11 local farms - plus one “wild card.”
“We also added a bottle of Aunt Jemima syrup,” explained Becky Porter of the CFA Board of Directors. “One lady tested the syrups and claimed (the Aunt Jemima) the best.”
Becky Porter then told the tester which one she had picked.
“The lady showed scandal and bowed her head and said, ‘I’m so ashamed,’” Porter said with a laugh. “But, most everyone selected one of the high quality real maple syrups produced in the area.”
Catskill Forest Association sponsors the annual festival as an extension of their goal to promote forest stewardship and quality practices. For more information about CFA, visit catskillforest.org.