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National Crosscut and Chainsaw Program

Crew members using a crosscut saw to clear a down log across a trail.
Forest Service Saw Program

The new Forest Service saw policy (pdf - 305kb) directs the use of chainsaws and crosscut saws on the National Forest System Lands. Forest Service employees, volunteers, and cooperators can now access consistent training, evaluation and certification. The Policy enables properly qualified volunteers and cooperator groups to train and evaluate their members. Authorized Cooperator organizations may also certify their members. The Forest Services' National and Regional Saw Program Managers and the National Saw Technical Advisory Group (SPTAG) lead the implementation of the program .

National Saw Program Technical Advisory Group (SPTAG)

The SPTAG is made up of national and regional saw program managers as well as other subject matter experts who provide guidance for consistent implementation of the National Saw Program.

National and regional saw program managers contact information (pdf - 310kb)...

Sawyer Training

New chain saw and crosscut saw training is available. The module-based training focuses on "Developing a Thinking Sawyer" and emphasizes risk management, human factors and sawyer safety. Qualified instructors can contact their local saw coordinator to ask about how to obtain the training material. 

Forest Service volunteers and cooperator organizations working under an agreement can take the training. Contact your local forest or grassland volunteer coordinator or saw program coordinator for training opportunities. 

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Wearing the proper PPE is critical when operating a chainsaw or crosscut saw. Follow these guidelines for required PPE when using a saw (pdf - 226kb)...

Sawyer Certification Levels

Forest Service employees, volunteers, partners, and cooperators can obtain 4 levels of certification for chainsaw and crosscut saw operation under the new saw policy:

  1. Sawyer trainee (pdf - 157kb)

  2. A Sawyer (pdf - 136kb)

  3. B Sawyer (pdf - 155kb)

  4. C Sawyer (pdf - 134kb)

Related Reference Materials

Have a question?

Contact the National Saw Program Manager at

Forest Service Disclaimer

The Forest Service, an Agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), has developed this information for the guidance of its employees, its contractor, and cooperating Federal and State agencies. The Forest Service assumes no responsibility for the interpretation or use of this information by anyone except its own employees. The use of trade, firm or corporation names is for the information and convenience of the reader. Such use does not constitute an official endorsement or approval of any product or service to the exclusion of others that may be suitable.