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The Ax Games

Cutting-edge competition at the UM Forestry Day Conclave

Foresters cut approximately 5,000 board-feet of lumber at Fort Missoula last Saturday, but there was no environmental impact statement, no public comment, and no protesters.

The University of Montana Forestry Day Conclave drew competitors from universities as far away as California and Canada to compete in a variety of logging-related events.

Competitors matched strength and skill in events such as the ax throw, Jack and Jill, and the single buck at the newly dedicated Garrett Grothen Arena. The facility was named for a UM graduate and former Forestry Day competitor who died in a snowmobiling accident this winter.

“We are here because of Garrett, and we are competing in his memory,” said Kylee Steitz, a UM forestry student and competitor. “He had so much to do with the success of this competition, it is because of Garrett that we even have this arena. Everyone feels a great sense of loss and the community was hit hard after his accident, but today we are very proud to compete and dedicate the arena in his name.”

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