Timber! Popular Forestry Day Returning to Fort Missoula
After making a big, post-pandemic comeback, the annual Forestry Day will be coming back to the Historical Museum at Fort Missoula next month.
This is the 26th year for the event, which is a collaboration between the Museum and the Society of American Foresters. It brings not only unique competitions and exhibits for families, including kids and "old timers" to enjoy but serves as a way of educating people about Western Montana's long heritage of wood products.
Many of the events are based around historic skill competitions, where the loggers of the past, and today, challenge themselves and their competitors.
The event has drawn tens of thousands of people over the years, with much of the focus on the "timber sports" competition. The Woodsmen's Team from the University of Montana invites other colleges to send their teams who compete in the initial events. That includes high climbing, log rolling, and cutting events where young lumberjacks show their skills at running chain saws, often from 10 feet, or higher, off the ground!
Then that's capped off with the only Pro/Amateur event still left in the United States, drawing competitors from all over the country. That's from 9:30 until 4:00 pm on Saturday, April 29th.
Saturday's big show includes cross-cut sawing, wood chopping, pole climbing, axe throwing, log rolling, and the "hot saws" event, where competitors muscle their custom saws that have lots of extra power.
Displays include demonstrations of old logging equipment, an antique lumber mill, and more.
The events are held in the Montana Historic Equipment Area and the Garrett Groton Memorial Area, which is just southwest of the main museum beyond the locomotive display. There will be food trucks and a beer garden.
Entry is by donation, with a suggested $4 for adults, $3 for seniors, $2 for students, and $10 for families. Members of HMFM and kids under 6 are free.