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Women’s Basic Chainsaw Safety Training

By Charlotte Smith

Ladies gathered for some chainsaw training this past Saturday morning. Laura Hendrick, Assistant Regional Forester with the North Carolina Forest Service and the NC Cooperative Extension assisted with the Women Owning Woodlands: Chainsaw Safety 101 Workshop held at Jones Lake State Park. 

Ms. Hendrick along with Mr. Joe Mattox with Safe Steps out of New Bern lead the training. There were 14 total participating in the training. 

The course covered basic safety elements such as wearing proper safety apparel like gloves, hard hats, and safety goggles. The training also educated those in attendance proper chainsaw operation, parts of a chainsaw, and the importance of chainsaw maintenance.

“Later in the day we gave the group a felling demonstration. Once the tree was down on the ground we allowed the ladies to cut the tree so they would become comfortable with the cutting a tree. We also allowed them to actual start the chainsaw,” Ms. Hendrick said.

“We also showed them a couple of different ways to cut the wood, teaching them about tension and compression which is important when your chainsaw gets stuck in a tree,” Hendrick added.

This first safety training course was funded with grant money, according to Hendrick, and the NC Forest Service and the NC Cooperative Extension would like to find more funding to provide more trainings like the one held this past weekend.

Keep an eye out with your local cooperative extension for more trainings. If you are interested in trainings such as these you may request your local extension office to provide one in your area. 

“We are highly underutilized,” Ms. Hendrick said. This training was provided because someone requested it. 

A new group will be starting in the late summer to help with more education and networking. 

“We are starting ForestHer group which will be promoting natural resources for women learning about wildlife, pollinators, forestry, land management and more. Essentially a lot of women own woodland. We want this group to promote female involvement, make them confident for the decisions they need to make for their property, and give them the resources they need for assistance,” Ms. Hendrick said. 

Anyone interested in the ForestHer group may attend the meeting on August 21 in Kinston at the Lenoir County Cooperative Extension. Call 252-560-5467,.for more information. 

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