South Aroostook Soil and Water Conservation District Hosts Women’s Chainsaw Safety Workshop



The South Aroostook Soil and Water Conservation District recently hosted an introductory women’s chainsaw safety workshop at the Meduxnekeag Ramblers Club in Littleton.

LITTLETON, Maine – The South Aroostook Soil and Water Conservation District recently hosted an introductory women’s chainsaw safety workshop at the Meduxnekeag Ramblers Club in Littleton.

Presenters Tish Carr, consultant forester, and Karin Bothwell, forester for Prentiss and Carlisle, started the day-long event by allowing each woman to explain why they had signed up for the course.

A common theme for the group of eight women was the desire to be independent and able to perform related tasks such as pruning trees or cutting firewood on their own. The morning’s discussion focused on appropriate personal protective equipment such as helmets and safety glasses, leggings and boots. Participants also had the opportunity to open their chainsaws and learn how to remove the chain and guide bar.

During the afternoon, the women prepared to learn how to start their chainsaws safely and use their saw brake smoothly. The women were also able to practice cutting “cookies” from a hardwood log, cutting from top to bottom.

Suzanne Hiltz (right) follows presenter Tish Carr to learn how to safely start her chainsaw. (Courtesy of Angie Wotton)

For many women, it was their first time to use a chainsaw and this course, aimed at women and taught by women, gave them a safe and open space to learn. Before the day was over, the group got together to talk about what they thought about the workshop and what they had learned.

Much like the start of the course and the theme of independence, the theme of the end of the day was about the confidence gained by learning the different safety practices and now knowing what it was like to use their saw. The women felt empowered and agreed that they would like a second session so that they could expand their knowledge by learning how to safely fell a tree.

The class was sponsored in part by LP Corp. For more information on future SASWCD events, please see www.saswcd.org or like SASWCD on Facebook.

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