Many women in my age bracket may be uncomfortable assuming roles traditionally held by men. I was, but my husband died. I realized if I wanted to remain on the land, I had to take care of it. I’m glad he taught me how to drive the tractor before his passing. Now I harrow my firebreaks in preparation for burning. I move fallen trees from my roads, and I mow.
"I think the most important thing women can know about managing their land is to realize they can do it. "
It’s not rocket science, and there are plenty of people and resources available to provide help and assistance. I sat down with my forester from the forestry commission to develop a stewardship plan. I talked with FSA and NRCS people to see how they could help me accomplish my goals. I contacted reps from the Ga Dept of Natural Resources to seek their guidance and expertise.
Of course, it’s frustrating at times, but so rewarding. Finding the first blooms of violets in late winter and early spring remind me of new birth and renewal. Smelling the sweet fragrance of wild azaleas permeating the woods is a source of joy. Seeing a controlled fire walk across the floor of my timberland gives me a sense of pride and great pleasure. Finding a land tortoise in a new burrow delights me. And there’s nothing like walking in a well kept stand of timber knowing you were responsible for putting all the pieces together to make it happen!