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Leopold Week  •  Programs and Events

The Aldo Leopold Foundation will be closed to the public for a private event on Saturday, September 30.

Land Care

Mastering skills such as safe chainsaw use are essential for woodland owners who want to be more active on their land. Read below about the land care courses we offer and see our calendar for class dates, prices, registration, and other details.

Chainsaw Safety

We offer a four-level series of hands-on courses designed to increase the safety and efficiency of chainsaw use. Certified through the Safety and Woods Worker (SAWW) training program, our courses give participants the opportunity to fell at least one tree.

Level I introduces participants to open face felling and the development of techniques to safely use it. Topics covered include personal protective equipment, chainsaw safety features, chainsaw reactive forces, bore cutting, pre-planning the fell, and understanding hinge wood strength.

Level II focuses on saw sharpening and maintenance, more advanced felling techniques, use of wedges, and felling accuracy. All participants will get to fell one or more trees under the supervision of instructors. You must complete level I to attend this class.

Level III teaches you how to estimate tree height, calculate lean, and place wedges to fell trees safely. The information applies to many activities, including preparing prescribed fire breaks, removing snags, cutting firewood, and performing timber stand improvements. Plan on spending the whole day in the field with instructors. Levels I and II are prerequisites for this advanced course.

Level IV, the last in the series, teaches participants how to safely limb and buck trees felled for firewood or timber stand improvement. You’ll learn tricks for reducing damage to logs as you remove them from your woods and ways to improve efficiency while limbing and bucking. Levels I, II, and III are prerequisites for this course.

Introduction to Prescribed Burning

Learn about fire ecology, fire behavior principles, and how to plan and conduct a burn as a management tool in fire-adapted ecosystems. Spend time getting to know the tools used on prescribed fires, the steps involved in preparing a burn unit, and the basics of wildland fire suppression. We will also conduct a prescribed burn, weather permitting.

Note: This course does not prepare participants to serve as a burn boss or conduct prescribed burns on their own.

New! This course now satisfies the field day requirement for the National Wildfire Coordinating Group’s Introduction to Wildland Fire courses. Participants interested in receiving federal certification for s130 and s190 courses need to complete the online portion prior to taking this workshop. Instructions for taking the online portion will be given at registration.

Participants who aren’t pursuing certification don’t need to complete the online course to take this workshop. This workshop is open to landowners, students, professionals, and anyone else interested in learning more about prescribed fire.