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Forest Festival features fine footwork

By Staff
Timber industry celebrated in Plymouth
By DAN PARSONS
Staff Writer
Kicking off Saturday with a parade of fire engines, logging trucks and the North Carolina Forest Festival Scholarship Pageant Queen Elizabeth Brown, the third annual N.C. Forest Festival rolled into downtown Plymouth.
Belhaven resident and employee of Byram Logging, Beverly Gibbs attended the festival to get a handle on the true grit of the industry.
Gibbs was chosen to participate in a chainsaw-imitating competition - part of the All American Lumberjack Show - for ownership of a small chair carved with a chainsaw from a tree trunk. She lost to Roper resident David Owens’ throaty, coughing rendition of a chainsaw.
The show is new to the festival this year. It featured two professional lumberjacks lightheartedly competing against each other in traditional tree-cutting activities.
Fischer competed against Nate Greenberg, of Lake Elmo, Minn., also a multi-time world champion. Greenberg was quick to declare that Paul Bunyan, the legendary lumberjack, was less legend than truth.
Caleb Jones, N.C. Forest Service field forester for Dare, Hyde, Tyrrell and Washington counties, is charged with managing the timber industry in those areas of eastern North Carolina. He was on hand to man a kiosk offering information on the business of walking the fine line between timber production and environmental conservation.
The primary tree grown for economic return in the region is the loblolly pine, the state tree, Jones said. It is fast growing and takes well to eastern North Carolina soils, he said.