Chainsaw Safety & Certification Workshop

Chainsaw Safety and Certification

Dennis Helton, Retired US Forest Service
Monday – Wednesday, March 31, 1:30-5pm and April 1-April 2, 8 AM – 5 PM
2.5 day outdoor workshop
Location: Meet at the Stonewall Resort, Potomac Room for first day,
Outdoor Worksite for the majority of the course.

The Session

Chainsaws are an important tool when building and maintaining trails located in densely forested areas. Corridor clearing is step one in building a trail and this often involves chainsaw use in challenging terrain.

After the trail has been built, there is often maintenance work clearing blow down from wind, ice, snow, or large rain events. Clearing the trail area of hazard trees (snags) is often also the responsibility of trail maintainers.

Chainsaw work clearing downfall and storm damage is regularly handled by trail volunteers due to a lack of in house capacity by many land managing agencies.

This 2.5 day course will provide attendees an excellent overview of all aspects of chainsaw work for trails including: limbing, bucking, and felling operations. The goal of this workshop is to train and certify students in safe chainsaw use. It is designed to help students become familiar with OSHA and Forest Service standards, chainsaw maintenance, required safety equipment, proper saw use, situation awareness, hazard analysis and cutting plan. Successful candidates will be issued a PTBA Chainsaw Operator Certification.

All workshop attendees should bring good work clothes and required PPE (helmet, hearing protection, leather work gloves, eye protection, long sleeve work shirt and leather work boots 7” tall). If you want to bring your own chain saw to work with, please do. Some chainsaws will (and limited PPE) will be provided.

The Presenters

Dennis Helton- retired USFS instructor. Dennis is known far and wide as one of the best chainsaw instructors in the SE and we are pleased to have him present at the PTBA Conference. 


When and Where 

Monday, March 31, 1:30-5:00 pm and Tuesday – Wednesday, April 1-April 2, 8 am -5 pm.

Our group will meet at 1:30pm  in the Potomac Room of the Stonewall Resort. We will meet indoors for the first afternoon. On Tuesday and Wednesday, we will be primarily outdoors at the Outdoor Demonstration Area. We will be able to walk (15 minutes) or take a shuttle (3 minutes) to the outdoor site.



This workshop costs $125 early registration ($150 after March 14) for this 3 day workshop, for the extra expense of the high instructor: participant ratio, equipment and fuel, and other workshop logistics.

You will also need to purchase the Conference Package of $125/person per day on each day of the workshop. This gives you all meals and breaks throughout the day, and conference/meeting rooms and resources.

Lodging costs $90/night (single or double occupancy).

Registration is on a first-come basis and is limited to 12 attendees.

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For More Information

Contact: Mike Passo at, or 360-734-7270