Queer Forestry Camp 2016

Groundswell Queer Forestry Camp

Image by Felix d’Eon | felixdeon.com

Thursday February 18th to Monday February 22nd 2016


Groundswell is putting out a call for all queers who like toKeganMarling_2528 play with wood. We are holding a Forestry Camp, a weekend of knowledge and skill shares teaching how to sustainably manage a forest and the many uses your wood can have. During the day we will work and play in the woods, getting to intimately know the trees. At night we will gather round the campfire and talk about our relationship to the natural world, getting to more intimately know each other.
We will discuss and implement strategies to reduce erosion, prevent firestorms, increase the KeganMarling_2496recharge of our aquifer, diversify the ages of our trees and balance the species of trees in our forest. We will use chainsaws and other tools to help the forest regain this balance. We will encourage goats to participate with us and let them fill the niche that the elk once held (at least until the elk and grizzlies return). Our hope is that one day we be able to manage our forest such that it will produce a moderate amount of lumber while it regains it’s old-growth stature.
Grandfather Cedar, at the apex of Groundswell, northern california retreat centerAn old-growth forest has resilience and strength. It not only holds water to recharge the aquifer but it can create rain. It serves as habitat for a broad range of species. It renew the oxygen we need to breath and it sequesters carbon dioxide. It also is highly resistance to damaging forest fires. Moreover an old-growth forest releases water with very little silt which is needed in order for the salmon to reclaim their historic breeding grounds.
Groundswell is in a very unique zone where coastal redwoods and incense cedars intermingle with a range of other trees included species of fir. While we do not have an old-growth forest, with a few hundreds years of careful management Groundswell’s forest could be returned to an old-growth state.  Also Groundswell has areas of California oak savanna grasslands. These oak grasslands were managed by the indigenous Pomo people to build the wealth and abundance of these particular wild lands. As with old-growth forests oak grasslands are fire resistant. We will also take actions to manage our oaks so they can thrive and be healthy.
Suggested donation for the weekend is $60 – $200, based on your economic ability and the number of days you will be attending. Please e-mail us at events@groundswell.institute if you cannot afford this and wish to come as there are some work trade opportunities available. Registration fee includes three hot meals and lodging in one of our cabins (featuring twin bunk beds), as well as all that enlightening education.KeganMarling_4984
Photography by Kegan Marling