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Saw Training

The Forest Service requires that operation of a chainsaw or of a crosscut saw be limited to those crew members that the Forest Service has certified in the use of those saws. The Forest Service provides at no charge the training necessary for certification in April of each year. The training and certification only covers bucking (cutting trees that are already down on the ground). It does not cover tree felling. The certification is good for three years

The Forest Service added a requirement that crew members must provide a copy of a First Aid Certification and of CPR certification before the saw certification card will be issued. If the First Aid/CPR training is completed after the saw training, a copy of the First Aid/CPR certification can be sent to the Forest Service and a certification card will be mailed.

The Forest Service first aid requirement can be satisfied by any basic first aid and CPR course completion, such as provided by the Red Cross. Usually CPR training includes an AED component that is not required. It is recommended that a wilderness first aid course be completed as it is more appropriate to trail clearing environment.

The BRTA and the MN Rovers have teamed up with Active Source training to offer a combination of Red Cross CPR/AED and Basic Wilderness First Aid (WFA) Certification good for two years. Go to for class schedules and registration. The fee is $145.00 for the class that typically runs from 9:00 AM to 8:30 PM on Saturday and 1:00PM to 8:30 PM on Sunday.

Wilderness First Aid and CPR/AED are fee based courses. The BRTA will refund $40 of the course fee if you complete participation in a Border Route Trail (BRT) trail clearing trip. Members of MN Rovers are eligible to apply for a $50 course refund to be paid on completion of the course.

Saw Training Manual

The USFS Chain Saw and Crosscut Saw Student Guidebook covers the following information for chainsaws and crosscut saws:

  • Chapter 1: Course Information
  • Chapter 2: Safety Requirements
  • Chapter 3: Chain Saw use and maintenance
  • Chapter 4: Chain Saw Tasks and Techniques
  • Chapter 5: Crosscut Saw Tasks and Techniques
  • Chapter 6: Field Proficiency

The tree felling sections are not covered in the training course. You can download the full guidebook.

2020 Saw Training Schedule

2020 saw training has been cancelled.