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Natural Resources Technology students will use portlable unit to build skills for jobs

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: MT. HOOD COMMUNITY COLLEGE - Natural resources technology students at Mt. Hood Community College work with the colleges new portable sawmill. Mt. Hood Community College's Natural Resources Technology (NRT) program has a new sawmill.

No, it's not a giant building filled with equipment, but a portable piece of machinery. Nonetheless it can process logs 32 inches in diameter and 21-inches long.

"Using a sawmill offers a great learning opportunity," Jason Pinkerton, a forest resources instructor with the program, said in an announcement.

Second-year natural resources technology students have used the Wood-Mizer mobile sawmill to transform logs into boards, posts and other building materials to create sheds and tables. The band-saw mill encourages students to build skills in communication and teamwork while teaching them to operate a hydraulic mill.

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: MT. HOOD COMMUNITY COLLEGES - An anonymous donor specifically targeted MHCC the natural resources department. "Students are forced to make decisions and to work and talk with each other," Pinkerton said.

"Plus, there's an opportunity to create some wood products for campus and to support existing curriculum, like Fisheries Technology's building and maintenance class," he added.

Pinkerton said the mill can use fallen trees from the Gresham campus. The program's students and staff also can work with local property owners and businesses to transport logs to the mill on campus. Natural resources students will learn about timber harvesting and urban tree salvage.

The sawmill is funded by a $10,000 donation from the MHCC Foundation, courtesy of a local anonymous donor who wanted to contribute to the college's NRT program.

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