Women in the Woods: Basic Chainsaw Safety and Operation

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Forest Society Conservation Center
54 Portsmouth Street
Concord, NH 03301
United States


Women in the Woods is a collaboration between UNH Cooperative Extension, NH Timberland Owners Association, the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, and other partners aimed at connecting women landowners and land managers with the resources, skills, and community they need to make informed stewardship decisions that promote healthy forest resources. 

About the Workshop

Date: Friday, November 5 & Saturday, November 6 (two-day course)

Time: 8:30am – 4pm (each day)

Join Wendy Weisiger, Managing Forester, Forest Society and Tish Carr, Tish Carr Consulting, certified arborist and Mike Gagnon, Hillsborough County Extension Forester for a two-day course on basic chainsaw safety and operation specifically designed for women by women. No chainsaw experience is necessary, though this course is also an excellent refresher for more experienced operators who may not have previously taken a course. This is a gateway course to learning more advanced methods.

The focus of this course is on safety: safe posture, safe practices, safe clothing, and safe habits. The first day will focus on safety gear, parts of a chainsaw and function, chainsaw safety features, basic saw maintenance, and introduction to proper and safe operation. The second day will focus on practice and application of basic chainsaw operation, safe movement and operation, making straight up and down cuts, limbing, and tension and compression wood. Students will learn bore cutting methods and see a felling demonstration.

The goal of this course is to provide each participant with the tools to evaluate practices and equipment for safety.  All participants will have the opportunity to practice chainsaw use in a safe, controlled, and supervised environment. This course is designed to provide a classroom where all participants have ample opportunity to ask questions and practice these techniques. The instructors will break groups out based on experience and some participants may have the opportunity to try more advanced techniques depending on their experience level.

PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) is required.  All students must have: helmet, eye protection, ear protection, steel-toe (or composite-toe) boots, and chainsaw chaps. Students should bring their own chainsaws (if they have them) but instructors will provide classroom saws for everyone to use. If you do not have proper PPE we will work with you to borrow some of our equipment.

This course is limited to 15 participants; advance registration required.

COST: $125 for Forest Society Members; $150 for Non-members

Person cutting through a tree with a chainsaw
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