Lumberjacks are workers in the logging industry who perform the initial harvesting and transport of trees for ultimate processing into forest products. The term usually refers to a bygone era (before 1945 in the United States) when hand tools were used in harvesting trees. Because of its historical ties, the term lumberjack has become ingrained in popular culture through folklore, mass media and spectator sports. The actual work was difficult, dangerous, intermittent, low-paying, and primitive in living conditions, but the men built a traditional culture that celebrated strength, masculinity, confrontation with danger, and resistance to modernization.
The modern lumberjack can be found in our competitive culture, because of the competitions in the old lumber camps to see who the best lumberjack was. Today these competitions are used to acknowledge the rich history forestry and logging and keep traditions alive. This is reflected in the events at these competitions. With the most notable event being the Lumberjack World Championship, held in Hayward, Wisconsin. The competition began in 1960 and is now one of the largest spectator gatherers of the sport bringing in over 12,000 on an annual basis.
In Canada, Squamish Days Loggers Sports, in Squamish, British Columbia, attracts world class competitors to its weekend festival in August every year. The event attracted the likes of Johnny Cash, who, in 1991, performed at the 5,000-seat Loggers Sports grounds during his Roadshow tour, and stuck around to take in events and accept a chainsaw carving of his initials.
The Woodsmen's Days events at Tupper Lake, New York commemorate the lumberjack with logging competitions and demonstrations during mid-July.
Many colleges have woodsmen teams or forestry clubs, which compete regionally, nationally, and internationally. The Association of Southern Forestry Clubs, for example, sponsors an annual Forestry Conclave with 250 contestants in various events.
There are also lumberjack shows which tour the United States, demonstrating these old time lumber practices to the general public. The Lumberjack World Championships have been held annually in Hayward, Wisconsin, since 1960. Over twelve thousand visitors come to this small northern Wisconsin town each year in late July to watch men and women compete in 21 different events, including log rolling, chopping, timed hot (power) saw and bucksaw cutting, and pole climbing.In folklore and popular culture