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Volunteers Stock Shelters with Firewood for Winter

Here is a report from Gary Elnan, who volunteered to organize CONC’s efforts to cut, transport, and stack firewood for the Club’s winter shelters:

 I took on organizing the firewood effort for the 2021-2022 season.  While it was a lot of coordination, the joy of working with such fine Club members (and some non-CONC volunteers) in this extensive effort made it quite fun.  This project involved lots of moving parts.


The firewood stocking effort started in spring 2021 when volunteers Chris Sabo and Joe Welke used snowmobiles to drag dead logs to the AC/DC shelter while snow was still on the ground.  They collected about 2 seasons’ worth of firewood as logs.   Then in September, sawyers Al Matson and Gary Elnan, and swampers*/stackers Doris Feenstra and Warren Preston, cut the logs by the AC/DC shelter.  

* Note: “Swampers” assist the sawyers with special attention to safety. While sawyers are closely focused on their tasks, the swampers prevent others from entering the area of cutting, look overhead for falling branches or trees, and carry out similar safety-related activities.

In October, a crew from the Gear Fix outdoor shop (organized by Bob Hollister) split and stacked this year’s AC/DC firewood.  It is welcome bonus for others to share in the satisfaction of this firewood effort, and the Gear Fix employees have contributed extensively.  Don’t forget to recognize their efforts while shopping there!

In September, Al Matson and Gary Evans put their chainsaws to use at the dispersed log piles that remained from the Swampy shelter’s construction, cutting them into stove-length rounds, while Sue Sullivan and John Mowat served as swampers.  Later, Chris and Teresa Sabo worked to split the rounds and stack them by the Swampy shelter.  An amazing quantity of wood was processed by just a few volunteers – very impressive!

On Friday, October, 15th, a pair of sawyers (David Alward & Neil Wrede) working in concert with a team of splitters (Eric Ness, Gary Elnan, Donna Barton, Brian Jorgensen, and David Alward) cut and split at least 1.5 cords of firewood along FS Road 600 leading to the Edison shelter.  They accomplished all this in about 6 hours.  

The Club did not have already split firewood available from the Forest Service for this coming season.  Brenton Allen and Gary Elnan made up for this and were able to split about 1 cord of log rounds that were in storage at the Forest Service yard.  Later, Chris Sabo transported them all on Saturday, October 16th, to the Swede shelter. 

Saturday, October 16th, was  the Club’s D-Day.  The Forest Service provided their 2-ton “Stakeside” dumping truck, which Chris Sabo drove, to deliver the split firewood from the Forest Service yard to the Swede shelter.  Chris then collected the split firewood that had been produced the day before along FS Road 600 and  delivered half a cord to Edison and the remaining 1 cord to Nordeen. 

At the same time, Jerry Sebestyen helped coordinate a large group of stackers who carried and then stacked the firewood that Chris had delivered —  ok, dumped —  first at the Swede and then at the Nordeen shelters.  The stackers for this grand effort included Sharon Evoy, Doris Feenstra, Mary Verbeck, Jeff and Debbie Frankenberger, Sue Sullivan, Dave Prybylowski and Sue Eckhardt, Craig Renkert, and Jonathan Bell.  Al Matson and Gary Elnan also  helped to stack the wood at Edison.

Thanks to the extraordinary volunteer efforts, Club President Jerry Sebestyen remarked, “I can’t think of a year when we have completed wood stocking so early.” 

Many thanks to Sue Sullivan, who provided constant assistance behind the scenes for various details, safety equipment, and much physical work and coordination efforts.

Special thanks are owed as well to Chris Sabo, who acted as a much-needed Forest Service-certified driver for the dump truck and contributed extensive splitting efforts as well as much-appreciated expert guidance and advice.