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Outreach with the Minnesota Women’s Woodland Network

Throughout Minnesota, women are increasingly responsible for the stewardship of private forestlands, as the number of women owning and managing land across the country increases. To address this trend, the Minnesota Women’s Woodland Network (WWN) was formed in 2010. WWN provides resources to women to help them effectively care for and enhance their private forestland.

Minnesota Women’s Woodland Network members visited Camp Vermillion on May 16 for a “Walk in the Woods.”

On a recent evening, WWN hosted a “Walk in the Woods” at Camp Vermilion in Cook, Minn. The 268-acre summer camp, owned by Voyageurs Lutheran Ministry, served as a model property for the foresters who attended the event.

The ministry has worked with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) since 1999, when Camp Vermilion lost several trees to a wind storm. Over the years, NRCS has helped the group develop a forest stewardship plan to best manage the forest and its resources.

The plan calls for the selective harvesting of trees, planting of new trees, protecting new plantings from deer and establishing firewise practices near cabins and other structures.

The 19 WWN members who attended the walk were able to examine all of these improvements and discuss the implications, learning some best practices for their own lands.

The Walk in the Woods was hosted by Julie Miedkte, University of Minnesota Extension Forester, and Marge Sella, NRCS District Conservationist.

WWN has over 300 members after just two years in existence. Sella says that organizations like WWN help her reach more landowners with NRCS’ conservation information—and that she sees this network as being a powerful tool for preserving and protecting forestry resources now and in the future.

Check out more conservation stories on the USDA blog

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