Blaise Pindell
PHS junior Blaise Pindell is the Forestry Student of the Month for May. (Photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)
Editor’s note: The PHS Forestry Student of the Month series highlights top forestry students. This series is made possible through a sponsorship of Starker Forests.

Signing up for the forestry program back when he was a Philomath High School freshman seemed pretty natural for Blaise Pindell. He enjoys the outdoors whether it’s going on a hunting excursion or visiting his grandpa’s farm in the Stayton area.

Beyond those activities, he really just likes to work with his hands.

“I like to be outdoors and work with my hands,” said Pindell, now a 16-year-old junior. “I’m not as good with the reading aspect of things, so that attracted me. As I’ve been doing it, just the different skills I’ve learned and working with different tools has kept me interested.”

Pindell, son of Michelle and Travis Pindell, is the Philomath High School Forestry Student of the Month for May.


Pindell said he likes learning things such as tree identification and has also been exposed to this region’s fascinating forestry history.

“Like today, I was reading some pretty interesting history about just Philomath and how it became a logging town and stuff like that,” he said.

Learning how to use tools and working in Downing Forest are fun outdoor activities.

“I had never used a chainsaw before so that was pretty cool,” Pindell said. “It’s kind of a unique experience … but you get the hang of it pretty quick.”

Downing Research Forest encompasses 10 acres in an area between Chapel Drive and Philomath Middle School. In 1981, former forestry instructor Pat Downing and his students grew Christmas trees to try to raise money for the program and over the years, the land has been used for educational purposes. The research forest was dedicated in his name in 2012.

“Not every school has that,” Pindell said. “Mr. Babcock tells us all the time, like in Corvallis, they don’t have anything like Downing, so that’s cool and unique. We get to use it and just have different possibilities and opportunities to do things.”

Pindell still has time to figure out what career path he wants to take, but the forestry program does have him thinking about a related job.

“I’m not really sure what I’m going to do with my future,” he said. “But I’m probably going to look in the area of natural resource and forest management.”