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Learn to Use a Chainsaw Like a Girl

A women-only chainsaw class is being offered next month in Cody. Courtesy: University of Wyoming Extension.
A women-only chainsaw class is being offered next month in Cody. Courtesy: University of Wyoming Extension.
August 10, 2015

CODY, Wy. - Wyoming women will soon be firing up chainsaws at a special class through the University of Wyoming Extension. The women-only workshop in Cody begins with the basics and safety details, and then heads into the field to help clear out problem trees along the Shoshone River.

Instructor Caitlin Youngquist says it's a popular training.

"They want to be able to cut firewood, or they want to keep at their cabin to clear logs that fall down over the road," says Youngquiat. "And with the big push right now with Russian olive removal along rivers and pastures."

The Nature Conservancy is co-sponsoring the class, in hopes the women will continue to sharpen their skills by volunteering to cut down Russian olive trees. The trees are classified as "noxious weeds" in Wyoming because they displace willows, cottonwoods, boxelders and buffaloberries.

Youngquist says there's another dimension to the training, too.

"It's also really empowering for a lot of women just to pick up a saw and start it," she says. "If they've never done that before and women also tend to be more inclined to learn in a social environment."

It's an all-day class next month (Sept. 12) that costs $75; registration is required. Youngquist adds scholarships are available.

Deborah Courson Smith/Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - WY