A remote section of forest is serving as a classroom this week for about 600 sixth graders from Klamath County, as part of a popular forestry tour program that's now been around for 50 years.
Ron Loveness of the Winema Hoo Hoo Club, a brotherhood of forestry workers, says his message to kids about forest products hasn't changed much over the past 45 years he's been involved with the program...
"Actually, the message is pretty much the same. We're in a renewable, the new word is 'sustainable' resource - and we do surprise them with some of the things that are made out of trees."
The annual school forestry tours began in 1963, and provide a pleasant break for teachers, and students.
"Well, yeah - because we're not really doing math, or spelling, or anything." Says Saige Mathis of Stearns School. ""it's kind of nice to go out in the woods."
But the students do learn lessons, like how to identify trees...
Nicole Murrey of Ferguson School notes: "There's many types of different woods."
Gavin Olivier of Ferguson School got a sampling of wildlife biology, and how to classify animals by what they eat...
"What kind of, 3 types are there that they learned about?' 'Herbivores, omnivores, and carnivores."
Other stations included lessons on fire suppression...soils, and forest management...and what to do if you're lost in the woods.
"Stay put, and hug a tree." Notes Saige Mathis.
And Ron Loveness intends to stay put with the forestry program as long as he can...
"As long as I'm able."
The forestry tours have been held every year except 1993, when an earthquake raised safety concerns about school bus travel over bridges.
This year's forestry tours will continue through Wednesday.