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Chainsaw

Course Content and Outcomes:

The Chainsaw 101 course is designed for beginners to learn the safety, use, and maintenance of a chainsaw. Upon completion of the course, participants will be able to demonstrate competency in safe bucking, limbing, and precision cutting operations as well as basic saw maintenance.

 

The Chainsaw 201 course adds to fundamental saw skill sets, building greater technique in the areas of bucking, limbing, and felling. This course is catered to individuals looking for additional instruction in technique or those interested in basic felling practices. Additionally this course offers saw maintenance and field sharpening instruction. We encourage students with a background in safe chainsaw operation to register for this course.

 

Note: Students registering for the 201 course must demonstrate their ability to operate a chainsaw safely, as determined by the instructors, to progress through the course content. While the Chainsaw 101 course is not a requirement to participate in Chainsaw 201, we encourage even practiced sawyers to evaluate their own saw habits through  our Chainsaw 101 course. If you have any questions on which course may align with your experience and interests please do not hesitate to contact us.

 

Both courses will offer a mix of classroom and hands-on skills training. With small instructor to student ratios our goal is to provide guidance as students gain time on the trigger, practicing the skills. Training sites will offer a mix of controlled stations and live scenarios. Students will have the opportunity to buck, limb, and take down hazards in the field. To practice felling, tree stands will be used in a controlled environment. Students that demonstrate proficiency and control may fell live trees with instructor guidance.

Safety

Safety is our number one priority. Instructors will provide hands-on technical instruction in a manner that allows participants to feel comfortable and empowered.

Physical Requirements

The course is physically demanding – students must be able to lift 20 lbs, bend at the waist, and be able to be on their feet for several hours at a time. Our courses take place in variable weather conditions and at times on uneven terrain.

 

We hope you are able to join us, if you require an accomodation in order to participate please reach out so we can work with you directly. Questions? Contact us!

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WHEN

Chainsaw 101 will begin the evening of Thursday, September 19 and conclude the afternoon of Sunday, September 22, 2024.

 

Chainsaw 201 will begin the evening of Thursday, September 26 and conclude the afternoon of Sunday, September 29, 2024.

WHO

This course offers an intentionally built, supportive learning environment for anyone who identifies as a woman. Participants must be 18 years or older.

WHERE

White Sulphur Springs, Montana.

Lodging and Food

On-site tent or car/truck camping is available for registered participants. 

 

This course is fully catered with fresh and unique dishes from a local chef. Snacks will be provided between meals. Most dietary restrictions can be accommodated with prior notice.

 

Please visit our Local Information page for additional options.

Equipment & Tools

Participants will need to provide appropriate clothing, work gloves, safety glasses, and hearing protection.

 

The Red Ants Pants Foundation will provide all other equipment and tools. More details will be provided upon registration.

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COST

2024 rate: $625 per person. The course fee covers instruction, materials, and course equipment. This fee includes all meals (and snacks), including dinner Thursday night through lunch on Sunday. 

 

Scholarships and payment plans are available! Contact us for more info.

PAYMENT

Payment is required upon registration.

Check or Credit Cards accepted. Details provided upon registration.

REGISTRATION

The workshop is limited to 12 participants per section. Courses fill quickly. Once the course is full (first come, first served) we will add names to a waitlist.

 

 

To stay in the loop regarding

Red Ants Pants Foundation programs, please subscribe to our mailing list here.

CANCELLATION

Course fees, minus a $50 cancellation fee, will be refunded if cancellation is made prior to 30 days before the start of the course. Fees are nonrefundable if cancellation is made within 30 days of the start of the course. In the event that the Work Skills Course is canceled by the Foundation due to public health concerns, full refunds will be issued for the course tuition.

Payment
For questions or additional information, please feel free to reach contact us.

Chainsaw Instructors

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Bethany Hannah

Bethany cut down her first tree with a crosscut saw at age 15 in the backcountry of Alaska (while on a Student Conservation Association trail crew) and has been in love with saws (and trees!) ever since. She picked up a chainsaw for the first time more than 25 years ago while working as a hotshot wildland firefighter with the U.S. Forest Service, and eventually became one of the only female sawyers on a hotshot crew in the country at the time. Bethany has been instructing Timber Skills for the Red Ants Pants Foundation since the very beginning and absolutely loves teaching and empowering women to learn new traditional (and non-traditional) skills. She works as the Deputy Director of Operations and External Affairs for the Climate and Wildfire Institute in California and is the founder of the American Wildfire Experience. She absolutely cherishes her time teaching in Montana each year!

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Cole Sommers

Cole is from Minnesota and moved out to Montana in 2016 after graduating from Iowa State University with a Bachelor of Architecture degree. In the years since moving to Montana, Cole has worked with the Montana Conservation Corps out of the Helena office as a crew member, crew leader running chainsaw and wildland firefighting crews, a field coordinator managing chainsaw crews and tool logistics, worked as a construction crew leader for the Helena Area Habitat for Humanity, and led camping and canoe trips with Wilderness Inquiry throughout the country for people of all backgrounds and abilities. Currently, Cole is working for Marks Lumber sawmill out of Clancy, Montana. Cole has been on multiple saw crews throughout her years in Montana and is looking forward to sharing her passion and knowledge of chainsaws with many women who look forward to learning something new.

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Cole Sommers

Cole is from Minnesota and moved out to Montana in 2016 after graduating from Iowa State University with a Bachelor of Architecture degree. In the years since moving to Montana, Cole has worked with the Montana Conservation Corps out of the Helena office as a crew member, crew leader running chainsaw and wildland firefighting crews, a field coordinator managing chainsaw crews and tool logistics, worked as a construction crew leader for the Helena Area Habitat for Humanity, and led camping and canoe trips with Wilderness Inquiry throughout the country for people of all backgrounds and abilities. Currently, Cole is working for Marks Lumber sawmill out of Clancy, Montana. Cole has been on multiple saw crews throughout her years in Montana and is looking forward to sharing her passion and knowledge of chainsaws with many women who look forward to learning something new.

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Emily Garlough

Emily got her start with chainsaws fresh out of forestry school when she joined the Nevada Conservation Corps in 2006. Working with chainsaws has been at the core of each job she has had since then, from working as a sawyer on wildland firefighting crews, to logging, to becoming an arborist and tree climber, to her work as a structure firefighter in Missoula. She teaches chainsaw classes to groups of mountain bikers, firefighters, and Montana land owners, but only at the Red Ants Pants Foundation saw classes does she see the group transform from individuals who may be unfamiliar with, or intimidated by, chainsaws to a group of women who support, trust, and encourage each other.

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Julia Seaward

Julia has worked with saws for over ten years. Her experience started in the Bob Marshall Wilderness on the crosscut working with the Montana Conservation Corps. She continued to work trails and honed her skills on the chainsaw as well. Eventually, Julia helped to train crew leaders for the Montana Conservation Corps. After spending many years working with people on their personal health and fitness through yoga, Julia currently works in the finance industry at Edward Jones, supporting people in their financial health. What's the connection? Focus on the moment and feeling empowered to take care of oneself.

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Kristen Pfeiler

Kristen learned to use a crosscut saw in 2006 while working for the US Forest Service. Over the following eight years, she worked across the west on various USFS crews and an AmeriCorps crew. In 2016, she began working for the Utah Conservation Corps, training others to become sawyers. With a need to learn safer ways to teach new sawyers, she decided to take the Red Ants Pants Foundation chainsaw course in 2017. This course and the learning environment sowed the seeds of self-leadership and confidence that served her not just in working with chainsaw crews, but also in her everyday life. “I’m forever appreciative of my RAP family!” And she has served as an instructor ever since. She now hopes to create similar empowering experiences, as the wildfire coordinator, within her home communities in the Eastern Sierra as a step toward wildfire resilience.

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