By Pat Caldwell
Malheur Enterprise


VALE – There was a new champion this year at the Oregon Trail Days’ third annual Lumberjack contest.


The defending champions – the Malheur County Sheriff’s Office team – seemed a strong favorite going into the Saturday competition.


But the team from the Vale High School Class of 1996 stopped the sheriff’s team, pulling them out of the driver’s seat to claim the top spot at the competition at Wadleigh Park.


The sheriff’s office team finished second, the Eastern Oregon Pilot Company was third, and a team from the local Bureau of Land Management finished fourth. Malheur Drug was fifth while Olsen’s Lumber claimed sixth place.


The event was all in fun and spearheaded by Olsen’s Lumber.


“We are doing it to support the community,” said Olsen’s Lumber owner Toby Cummings.


Malheur Drug co-owner Adam Tolman led his team and competed in the sawing event with employee Heather Johnson. In the event, each duo uses a large hand saw to cut through a hunk of wood.


The trick to the event, Johnson said, was teamwork.


“And don’t push the saw. It’s not easy. But it was fun,” Johnson said.


Malheur County Undersheriff Travis Johnson also said he and his team enjoyed the competition.


“It’s the third year we’ve done it. It is just a good community event and we try to support community events. A good family activity.” Johnson said.