Fulton man wins state top logger competition

He hit center target in tree felling event

Josh Stevens, who operates a forestry management business in Fulton, has earned bragging rights as the state’s top professional logger.

It was a honor he wasn’t expecting. He was competing with professional loggers, mostly from the Ozarks.

The skill providing the most points in the competition was the Precision Tree Felling event.

“I my case, it was mostly luck,” Stevens said. “I had no intentions of winning the event. In the other events, I was running only in the middle of the pack at best. I honestly figured I would finish in last place. I was just having a good time. But in the Precision Tree Felling event, I got lucky. When my friend and I arrived, we learned the chainsaws we had were not the correct size for the competition. We borrowed saws we have never run before. They were much bigger than the ones we were accustomed to using. We didn’t have the correct gage of equipment so we had to hand-file the chains to sharpen them. I had zero expectation of winning, but luck was with me.”

Stevens operates Stevens Sustainable Forestry, a forestry management service in Fulton, He offers forestry thinning, forestry surveys and timber sales.

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The Missouri Forest Products Association sponsors the professional training to advance the knowledge, skills and opportunities of Missouri loggers.

Top loggers from around the state demonstrated their skills at various events such as Speed Cut, Bore Cut, Spring Pole, Bucking Cut and Precision Tree Felling.

Stevens said a bore cut takes more time but it allows a logger to control the precise direction the tree will fall, making it much safer than the traditional method of notching a tree and then starting the cut from the back side.

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