Women Reaching Women in Forestry

Thursday March 9, 2023

Coeur d'Alene, ID - We imagine foresters as bearded men in flannel. That’s changing. More professional women than ever work to sustain and protect our natural resources. Now they want to inspire women to be more active in managing family owned forests.

Women landowners are playing an increasingly important role in forest management decisions but they are consistently in the minority at forestry education events in Idaho. Recent evaluations from forestry training events hosted by the University of Idaho Forestry Extension (UI Extension) indicate that women typically make up about 30% of the attendees.

Idaho Department of Lands (IDL) and UI Extension hope to change that by offering a women-centric forestry workshop on March 17, 9 AM – 3 PM at the U of I Research Park in Post Falls.

“When speaking at past forestry workshops, many women have told me they are nervous about attending and question if they belong, they are then hesitant to ask questions or participate,” said Erika Eidson, IDL Forest Health Specialist and workshop co-host. “While anyone is welcome to attend, this is an opportunity for women to interact with women. The goal is to create an atmosphere where women are comfortable asking questions and hopefully will gain confidence in managing their family forests.”

The workshop is for forestland owners with just a few acres or more. It will provide the opportunity to learn about free resources available to them as forestland owners, how to reduce wildfire risk on their land, how to get the help needed to develop management plans, and what cost sharing is available for forest management activities.

Eidson makes site visits to the homes of forest landowners and provides technical assistance. Often times, there are homeschool families and women who stay home with their children. Although these women are very interested in learning more and becoming proactive forest landowners, homeschool and childcare can limit their availability to attend traditional educational events.
With that in mind, this workshop is set up to be a learning opportunity for kids too. Attendees are welcome to bring children ages 5 and up, who will get to participate in STEM based learning activities taught on site by 4-H educators to help grow interest in forestry.

A follow-up event, which will focus on building forestry field skills like tree identification, forest measurements, managing forest insects and disease, and more, is planned to be held in Sandpoint in May.

What: Connecting Women in Forestry (and Kids Too!)
When: March 17, 2023
Time: 9 AM – 3 PM
Where: U of I Research Park
958 S. Lochsa St., Post Falls
Cost: $10 adult, $5 children
Lunch and snacks will be provided. Registration deadline is March 13.
To register online go to: https://www.idl.idaho.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2023/03/Coordinating-Women-in-Forestry-2023-Event-Flyer.pdf






Sharla Arledge
Public Information Officer