Photo Credit: Mike Dellivenari, CPW
What is Women in the Woods?
First, dear reader, I have to level with you. I have mentally pushed back on the idea of Women in the Woods. The idea of one more article, event, inspirational photo that shouts, “LOOK, WE ARE COMPETENT TOO”… is, well… just a bit tired.
Now before the pitchforks show up at my door, hear me out. I know it is important that women’s voices are heard. It is hard fought, well deserved, and past due. Women everywhere are declaring “That’s right, even through tailoring our own clothes from the men’s section or having exactly one option for a camo shirt that isn’t emblazoned with pink, I can bag an elk, hoist an 80lb pack, provide for my family, and look good doing it.” Ok, maybe not that last bit, but you get my point. I would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy that type of content, but it is only one side of the coin. Too much pomp has the undesired effect of stifling out conversations that we should be focusing on as conservationists.
"Over the remainder of the year, as the world collectively shifts towards virtual content, we will be bringing you monthly blog posts that include interviews from conservationists, highlights of our latest outdoor endeavors, and maybe even a few tutorials for good measure. I hope you enjoy!"
And yet when asked if I wanted to take on Women in the Woods and make it my own, I dove in. Oh the hypocrisy! I know, I know. But the opportunity to participate in developing a program that could be shared statewide, maybe even nationwide? I’d be a fool to pass that up. I’ve spent time working the idea over to figure out why it is I want to dedicate time and energy into this particular project, and what I come back to every time is this is not about empowerment, it is about community.
I love BHA. I love the network, the events, the members. Most of all, I love what we stand for. The reason BHA is a successful organization is because we have a wide network of individuals who are capable of level-headed, intelligent, and considerate conversation. We have different opinions, expertise, ideas… and we can talk about them. Many of us, dare I say most, are even open to hearing other people’s viewpoints! So simple, yet so novel.
I want Women in the Woods to extend our reach. I want it to be the extra push to get people from curious to committed. By building confidence, dedication, and engagement, we can expand the community of conservationists on the ground fighting for our public lands and all that inhabit them. Personally, I don’t care how other people spend their time outdoors. Do you hunt? Fish? Hike? Sit on a rock staring at a tree, contemplating life? Been there. We go out alone, but together we are pillars supporting the platform of conservation. Women in the Woods is our opportunity to strengthen the community around the public lands, waters, and wildlife that have shaped our values and identities.
In the coming months you will see blog posts, events, and educational opportunities under the “Women in the Woods” umbrella. Over the remainder of the year, as the world collectively shifts towards virtual content, we will be bringing you monthly blog posts that include interviews from conservationists, highlights of our latest outdoor endeavors, and maybe even a few tutorials for good measure. I hope you enjoy!
About the Author:
Kassi was born on the west coast of Washington and spent every summer on her grandparent’s farm in eastern Washington. She started fishing and shooting as a kid, then backpacking as an undergraduate in eastern Washington, and started hunting after moving to Idaho for graduate school. Kassi has a doctorate degree in Materials Science and Engineering from Boise State University.
She started hunting with her boyfriend, now husband, and said, “We will generally go out at least once per year casually for each small-game species, but big game is where the action is.” Kassi also enjoys fly-fishing for trout in alpine lakes or streams/rivers, but when time is short she’ll throw spinners out in local reservoirs. She joined BHA during 2015, started volunteering in Idaho and currently lives in Lafayette, Colorado.