Women landowners who wish to learn more about forestry in West Virginia and network with other women involved in woodlands management can now register for the W.Va. Division of Forestry's "Women Owning Woodlands" workshop.
The event led by women instructors provides women landowners with an opportunity to ask questions, practice skills, and connect with woodland professionals, forest owners, and resources will be at Watoga State Park and Calvin Price State Forest in Pocahontas County on Sept. 17-19, 2021.
Barbara Breshock, a workshop instructor and retired W.Va. Division of Forestry assistant state forester emphasized the sense of community that the event inspires.
“Whether you are getting acquainted with your land or have been managing woodlands for years, the Women Owning Woodlands weekend offers learning experiences and a sense of community for all,” Breshock said.
Space is limited, and the deadline to register is Sept. 10. A $150 attendance fee covers lodging for two nights, instructional materials, and facilities use and meals (dinner on Friday and lunch and dinner on Saturday).
During the event, participants will learn how to identify types of trees, maintain a chainsaw, make the woodlands more attractive to wildlife, and value woodlands for timber or wildlife. The event also provides information about resources for landowners and includes field trips into the woods to identify common trees and to watch wildlife in their native habitats.
Scheduled instructors for the 2021 WOW workshop include service foresters and a retired assistant state forester with the West Virginia Division of Forestry, a private consulting forester, a research forester and stewardship coordinator for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service, and partner biologists for the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service and West Virginia Division of Natural Resources.
Women play a critical and growing role in farming and land stewardship. Federal research reports that the percentage of family forest ownerships where a woman is the primary decision maker doubled from 2006 to 2013. The study also found that women are less likely than men to participate in forest management activities or landowner assistance programs. The findings suggest that developing networks of women woodland owners could be an effective way for more women to share information, concerns, and experiences.
The West Virginia University Extension Service and Forest Stewards Guild are partnering agencies for the event. Support is provided by the National Women Owning Woodlands program of the USDA Forest Service and a Weyerhaeuser Giving Fund Grant.
For more information about the Division of Forestry landowner assistance programs and the Women Owning Woodlands workshop, visit WVforestry.com, send an email to wvwomenowningwoodlands@gmail.