Forestry student Caroline Puckett standing in front of a log
Caroline Puckett is December’s Philomath High School Forestry Student of the Month sponsored by Starker Forests. (Photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

In the 1800s when the timber industry first took off, few roads existed and loggers utilized river systems to get the product to sawmills. Logjams would slow down the process and so workers had to learn how to roll the logs.

Of course, the activity became competitive to see who could stay up the longest and contests and exhibitions followed. That brings us to 16-year-old Caroline Puckett, a Philomath High forestry program student.

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.

“You have two people standing on the ends of the logs and you try to knock the other person off,” Puckett said with a hint of excitement in her voice.

Puckett, who is a junior, said she’s had a little bit of experience with log rolling and it sounds like she wants more. Plus, she describes herself as a competitive, athletic-type person.

The daughter of Bryan Puckett and Tara Gray, Puckett is December’s Philomath High School Forestry Student of the Month sponsored by Starker Forests.

Puckett said she was first introduced to forestry through a class at her previous school.

“I took it a little bit in Corvallis but then COVID happened and I kind of moved away from that,” she said. “I wanted to try it again because I knew that they had a really good program here and I’m finding that I like it a lot more.”

In addition to log rolling, Puckett said she also enjoys cable splicing.

“I’ve learned a lot more about the stratification and safety when you’re working with dangerous equipment and how to do a lot of outdoor things,” she said when asked about the types of topics covered in class. “Like, I learned how to chop wood with an axe … I had never done that before.”

With that competitive streak, Puckett hopes to get into skills competitions.

“I haven’t done one yet but I am interested in doing them when they start up,” she said.

The PHS program has obviously impacted Puckett in such a way that she’s considering a career in forestry.

“I’m leaning towards doing something forestry-related … I have thought about it because I really enjoy it,” she said.

March: Audrey Gerding
April: David Hunter-Godard
May: Blaise Pindell
June: Savannah Stokes
September: Lily Hull
October: Case Hoch
November: Hailie Couture