Tornado clean-up volunteers get sawyer experience in Dunlap

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Dunlap, Tenn. (WDEF) — When severe weather hits, it can leave behind lots of damage, but one homeowner in Dunlap found a way for it to benefit his community.

The November 30th tornado hit an area on Lewis Chapel Mountain that wiped out many large trees – blocking trails and pathways.

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So Randy Whorton created Wild Trails.

The organization puts on off-road races, maintains trails, and promotes having a healthy outdoor lifestyle.

The group gives its members a chance to come out and exercise their saws.

Chopping down and maneuvering those large trees and debris gives them hands-on training.

Volunteers can use this experience to meet mandatory certification requirements to become a sawyer.

“It’s a thousand dollars to get trained and a lot of them don’t last that long. It’s maybe seasonal or they’ll stick around for one or two years and they have to train someone else. So, with us being local – we live here, they just call us up and we’ve got 28 certified sawyers in the programs. It just saves us – the taxpayers – a lot of money,” says Whorton.

Wild Trails works closely with the National Park Service, Lookout Mountain Nature Center and Cumberland Trails.