Clemson University Holds Workshops for Women Who Own Forestland in South Carolina

The Cooperative Extension service of Clemson University in South Carolina is sponsoring a new statewide educational program designed to prepare family forest matriarchs for the reality that they could someday be left to make management decisions about their forestland. More than half of South Carolina’s 13 million acres of forestland is in private, non-industrial hands and owned and managed by 207,000 family forest owners. More than 80 percent of South Carolina forestland owners are 55 years old or older and the vast majority of them are men.

The university recently held the first of two South Carolina Women Owning Woodlands workshops. The daylong workshop introduced participants to general forestry terms, concepts and resources they may use to help them make management decisions and retain their land and its profitability. The workshop also included a forestland tour highlighting sustainable forestry, wildlife habitat enhancement, longleaf pine restoration, and conservation practices.

Janet Steele, Orangeburg County Extension forestry agent and South Carolina Women Owning Woodlands coordinator, explained that “women tend to inherit property later in life. Getting them involved when they are younger and more physically active will lead them to implement more forest management practices over the course of their ownership so they will be prepared should they eventually need to manage their forestland themselves.”

“We plan to hold a second workshop in April 2020 in the Upstate,” Steele said.  “Following the two pilot workshops, topic-specific workshops such as managing invasive species, handling legal issues of forestland ownership and timber harvests and reforestation will be offered throughout the state.”

Filed Under: Women's Studies


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