'It's given me confidence to take care of the property'

'It's given me confidence to take care of the property'

COTTAGE GROVE, Ore. - Eight years ago, Kathryn and Susie Kemp didn't know the difference between a chain saw and a pole saw.

Then they bought 11 acres of forestland.

Now they're working their woods, thanks to help from an Oregon State University Extension Service designed to empower women to manage timber.

"I have about 15 pairs of gloves," Kathryn joked.

The Kemp sisters and about 350 female forest owners are getting help through the Oregon Women Owning Woodlands Network. The program has done so well in Oregon, at least four other states have copied it.

The Kemps said they've learned about tractor safety, tree care and identification and running saws.

Just learning some of the language that's used in forestry in some cases how to communicate with professionals to do some of the work on their property.

"It's given me confidence to take care of the property," Kathryn said. "I had the will to, but I was also very fearful."

"So it's developing contacts in the community, too," Susie added, "to be able to call people and say, How do we do this?' "

They haven't sold any trees of their acreage yet, but when the time comes, they'll be ready.

"I've got twice as many trees as I need for them to be healthy," Kathryn said, "so I have a lot of work to do."