Photo: FLLT

Afoot in the Field (Vol 6, Issue 1)

Download:  Afoot in the Field, Volume 6, Issue 1 (PDF)

Published Winter-Spring 2015

1st Page Afoot in the Field Winter 2014-2015


I’ve bucked up a fair number of logs for firewood over the years and enjoy the whole process of cutting my own wood – it heats you at least a few times from moving it, splitting it, stacking it, and then finally burning it! But in a couple instances, the sweat on my brow, while felling a tree or bucking one up, came not from the exertion of the work but from the nervousness of having the keen eyes of chainsaw safety instructor Bill Lindloff scrutinizing my every move…

There is a mental image of Bill that will probably never leave my mind. He is kneeling down on the forest floor, a safe distance away from where I am working on an assigned cutting task, head slightly cocked toward the other safety class participants, grin on his face, and counting the number of mistakes I make on his fingers. He says something like, “Well, you remembered to check your surroundings for potential hazards, you identified an appropriate escape route, you satisfactorily planned and executed your cut, you are wearing all the right personal protective gear, and you remembered to set the chain break when you were done cutting. But, you get minus ten points for forgetting to fully wrap your thumb around the upper handle of the saw, and minus another ten points for forgetting to lower the face shield on your helmet while you were working”. Considering that that was the second time I’d taken Bill’s class, the demerits were embarrassing. But all of us in the class were in the same boat, and we were all learning, and re-learning, some very valuable safety lessons.

One of the other participants in the Game of Logging class that I took this past year was a man named Charles Stackhouse. Charles owns and actively manages a beautiful property near Keuka Lake, is a volunteer with the Finger Lakes Trail Conference (the organization that sponsored the chainsaw safety course), has served on the Board of Directors of the NY Forest Owners Association, and is a Master Forest Owner who helps others learn about forest management. Charles had some great stories about doing land management work on his own property, had a passion for being outside in his woods, and was committed to volunteerism and helping other landowners learn about good forestry and safe use of equipment. He graciously agreed to be interviewed for this issue of Afoot in the Field and offers some great stories and tips about how to work safely on your property with machinery and power tools.

Download:  Afoot in the Field, Volume 6, Issue 1 (PDF)

You can download Afoot in the Field, our biannual stewardship pamphlet for landowners, in PDF format.  See all issues here.