Women and Our Woods (WOW)

Women and Our Woods

Women and Our Woods

Women and Our Woods

I don’t have to be looking for a new way to get involved with the outdoors – it will find me all in good time. Tanya Rucosky from Downeast Lakes Land Trust emailed me about Women and Our Woods (WOW), and there it was, my new way to get involved.

I’m very excited about this program. There isn’t a ton of information ready right now, no event descriptions or dates just yet, but I want to share what we have and get an idea of how many women might be interested in joining us. We’d love to hear from women who are interested in participating from something as simple as a potluck lunch in someone’s home to a weekend event at a formal location roughly north and east of Bangor toward Grand Lake Stream. Old Town, Lee, Talmadge and nearby.

In October I was invited to get together with Tanya, Amanda Mahaffrey and Sherrie Sprangers. Amanda is a Maine licensed forester and works for the Forest Guild, an organization that promotes and practices forest stewardship. She’s very excited to be working to revitalize a critical resource for Maine’s women woodland owners – Women and Our Woods.

This program is not limited to women who own woodlots. Your interest in the woods is enough. And we are not limited to the area around Downeast Lakes Land Trust in Grand Lake Stream. WOW will branch out.

In Amanda’s words: In Maine, 85,000 small woodland owners own over 4.6 million acres of land. Of these owners, nearly half are over age 65, only 17 percent have a management plan for their land, and less than a third have sought advice on woodland management. Many women who traditionally left the details of taking care of a woodlot to their husbands find themselves faced with a steep learning curve on how to manage their land. Other women may find themselves as new woodland owners and unsure of where to turn for helpful information.

To meet these needs, Women and Our Woods is a program designed to educate women woodland owners on all aspects of woodland ownership-setting objectives, meeting with resource professionals, and harvesting timber thoughtfully to achieve desired outcomes. Women and Our Woods offers training workshops in a learning environment that empowers women to take action and make informed decisions about our land. Licensed Maine foresters
can help you map out forest ownership goals, choose the right logger, or navigate forest taxation laws. Local organizations such as the Downeast Lakes Land Trust host workshops and events that put women woodland owners in touch with information, tools, and resources to help guide forest management decisions – and perhaps most importantly, connect women woodland owners with each other.

Back to Robin. I’m looking for a connection to my 45 acres of forest. We’ve lived here for 16 years. I’ve raised two children here, grown and raised my family’s food here, heated my home with firewood harvested here, and yet, I don’t know my land as intimately as I know other forests. I’m on a mission now. Taylor, our youngest daughter, just completed a wildlife management plan that focuses on whitetail deer and grouse. I have a to-do list now and with the help and fun of Women and Our Woods, I’m going to develop a new appreciation for my woods.

You may email Tanya Rucosky for more information.

Robin Follette

About Robin Follette

Maine Press Association award winner, 2013. Robin's Outdoors, Bangor Daily News, third place in Sports blogs. I grew up with a fishing pole in my hand and have always loved the outdoors. From gardening to hunting and fishing, kayaking, camping, hiking and foraging, most of my time is spent outdoors. I teach outdoor skills as a volunteer instructor for Hooked On Fishing - Not On Drugs and Becoming an Outdoors-Woman. Pro-staff at The Limb Grip. My personal blog is here. I'm currently working on my first book, a collection of short stories based on my outdoors experiences.