The Arizona Elk Society, in 2013, worked with the USFS to certify 14 Wildland Chain Saw operators, Sawyers, to work with AZGFD and the USFS to restore wildlife habitat throughout Elk range in Arizona. Each year since we have had some new volunteers get certified, as we grow so does the work that we can be doing for elk and wildlife. We restore grasslands, riparian meadows, and much more by removing invading pine and juniper trees.

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We are always in need of volunteers. Facebook is a great way to stay in touch with the AES and our many events and projects.

In early 2013, a dedicated group of 14 AES volunteers received certification from the USFS as Certified Chain Saw Operators (Sawyers). Their training was an intense 5-day course and we graduated both A and B Class Sawyers. After the certification, the sawyers went to work on volunteer projects to improve habitat for Elk and other wildlife in Arizona. Since 2013, our Sawyers have cut tens of thousands of trees helping the AES and USFS to restore forest health and grasslands.

The 2016 goals of the AES Sawyer crew is to more than double their numbers and create a program of volunteers to work with and support the sawyers as swampers. Classes for the new group of trainees are usually scheduled for February. The additional support volunteers will be required to take training that will eventually lead them to become certified sawyers.

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Thank you to all the current volunteers, sawyers and swampers. You guys have made a positive affect on the wildlife of Arizona. We are always needing new volunteers to help on our projects and work up to becoming certified sawyers and swampers. If you would like to get involved in our Certified Chain Saw Crew, please go to the website and fill out the Volunteer Application. On the application you can choose the sawyer box. This is an elite team of volunteers and we have many projects coming in 2016 that we need sawyers for starting in April.