Idaho State Forestry Contest 2018 winners
Senior Division - individual:
1. Daniel Spencer, Careywood Eager Beavers 4-H Club team 1; total score: 492
2. Erik Hicks, Careywood Eager Beavers 4-H Club team 1; total score: 468
3. Ryan Wagner, Post Falls High School team 1; total score: 447
Senior Division - team:
1. Careywood Eager Beavers 4-H Club team 1; total score: 1710
2. Post Falls High School team 1; total score: 1570
3. Whistle Stop team 1; total score: 1403
Junior Division - individual:
1. Magnolia Fry, Careywood Eager Beavers 4-H Club team 1; total score: 449
2. Ian Hicks, Careywood Eager Beavers 4-H Club team 1; total score: 428
3. Nathan Hammond, Whistle Stop team 1; total score: 426
Junior Division - team:
1. Careywood Eager Beavers 4-H Club team 1; total score: 1626
2. Whistle Stop team 1; total score: 1421
3. Post Fall Middle School; total score: 1128
Rookie Division - individual:
1. Grace Meeking, Selle Valley Carden School team 2; total score: 138
2. Carter Happell, Selle Valley Carden School team 3; total score: 134
3. Kiana Klingingsmit, Selle Valley Carden School team 1; total score: 130
Rookie Division - team:
1. Selle Valley Carden School team 1; total score: 496
2. Selle Valley Carden School team 2; total score: 419
3. Careywood Eager Beavers 4-H Club team 1; total score: 415
CAREYWOOD — When the Idaho State Forestry Contest started in 1982, there were about 35 kids who participated in the event.
It has grown substantially, however, as nearly 600 area youth competed in the contest on Thursday.
"This is the biggest one ever," said contest coordinator Karen Robinson. "It just seems like it grows every year."
This year, Robinson said organizers even had to add a third course in the novice division as more than half of the participants, about 300 of them, were in the beginning category. The rookie division had two courses with more than 170 kids, and the junior/senior division had 116 competitors. School students, 4-H clubs, Future Farmers of America, and other youth from across the state are welcome to compete in the contest, though this year Robinson said Post Falls was the most southern participant.
One thing Robinson said she likes about the Bonner County area is all of the environmental and outdoor programs. The outdoor experiential learning track at Clark Fork Junior/Senior High School, the experiential learning program at Farmin-Stidwell Elementary, and the Selkirk Outdoor Leadership and Education program were a few of the programs she named.
"There is just tremendous opportunity for kids to learn ... get away from the TV and the phones and get outside and learn stuff about the woods," Robinson said. "I am just really excited about that"
Under the instruction of science teacher Brenda Woodward, Lake Pend Oreille High School students participated in the contest for the first time. Woodward said she has been working with the students since January in preparation for the contest. This year was a learning curve for the LPOHS program, and Woodward said she already has plans to modify the class next year and extend it with an introductory class and an advanced class.
While some of the students were still a little unsure on some of the contest areas, Woodward said the important thing is that they "put themselves out there."
"(The students are) in something new, and just being able to build confidence is the most important thing," Woodward said.
Heaven Shalbreck, a sophomore at LPOHS, did not take part in the contest preparation with Woodward's class, but pleaded with school staff to allow her to participate this year to give her a head start for next year. While she has not always been the biggest fan of science — "absolutely hated" it, to be precise — she said she has come to enjoy it thanks to Woodward, and was enthusiastic in learning what the forestry contest was all about.
Though it varied by division, each of the courses consisted of several stations, such as tree identification, map reading, compass and pacing, tree scaling, timber cruising and more. The youngsters were divided into groups and would travel to each station, answering questions for which they would be scored on.
Shalbreck and LPOHS junior Ashley Johnson agreed the tree identification was one of the most difficult stations. As she has gone hunting and camping and used maps in the past, Johnson said she enjoyed the map reading portion of contest, even know they had a lot of questions to answer in a short period of time.
Clark Fork seventh-grader Anthony Cohick disagreed with Johnson in that, for him, mapping was the most difficult. Of the stations he had visited by mid-morning, Cohick said silviculture was the easiest. CFHS instructor KC MacDonald said he has brought students to the contest for three or four years, and this year, 18 of the 26 seventh and eighth graders participated in the junior division.
Also a first year competitor, Milo Edwards, a Priest River Lamanna High School junior, had only completed one station — tree identification — as of the time she spoke with the Daily Bee, but she said that would probably be the easiest for her. The hardest part, she said, would likely be the soils and water quality.
Edwards said she enjoys the forestry class at PRLHS "a lot" and, likewise, was enjoying taking part in the contest. She was surprised, she said, to see how many people of all different ages participate.
"And there is a lot more walking than I anticipated," Edwards said.
While PRLHS has a one-year forestry class, Hailey Sims, a Post Falls eighth-grader, said her school has an after-school forestry program that spreads out over seven years. Therefore, this was her third year participating in the contest.
"I just love it," Sims said. "I love being up in the woods and it's just the chance to learn something new. And I love going camping, so I love the tree and plant (identification), because that is something you can use outside of the competition."
Every year since its inception, the contest has been held at the Delay Farm in Careywood, owned by brothers Gene and Ray Delay since the deaths of their parents, Ray and Fairy Delay, who started the competition along with Bill Love. Sponsors include Idaho Department of Lands, Bonner Soil and Water Conservation District, Natural Resources Conservation Service and USDA Forest Service. The contest is supported by several donors, as well as more than 200 volunteers.
Mary Malone can be reached by email at email@example.com and follow her on Twitter @MaryDailyBee.