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Vermont Family Forests
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Conserving The Health Of Our Local Forest Community

VFF Workshops and Events &

Hogback Community College Courses

We usually hold VFF workshops & events rain or shine, but sometimes weather conditions will cause us to cancel a workshop. We ask that you call the VFF offices (453-7728) the morning of the workshop in case of rain, snow, or high winds. We will leave a message on the voicemail message if the workshop is cancelled.

Visit our Events Gallery to see the programs we've offered in the past!

Click on the titles below for in-depth course descriptions and registration information for current and up-coming courses:

Workshops and Events


Hogback Community College Courses


Hogback Community College (HCC) is a loose but energetic confederation of teachers and learners in the Five-Town Forest of northeastern Addison County, Vermont. Our goal in forming HCC is to create a true community college—one that celebrates and sustains this community by offering a diverse, changing array of useful and attractive courses. These 1- and 2-credit (16-32 hours of instruction) courses offer in-depth explorations on the subjects they cover.








"David Birdsall is a jedi! Had a blast today in the woods, can't wait for next week!"

--Game of Logging Level I participant, Spring 2017


The Game of Logging training program combines Scandinavian logging techniques with the latest systems for working safely around trees. We cannot overstate the value of these courses. We have participants who’ve used chainsaws for 30 years prior to taking GOL Level I say that the course changed the way they work in the woods. The GOL courses must be taken in sequence (even if you have chainsaw experience, you must begin with Level I).

Level 1. Precision Felling Techniques. This workshop introduces open-face felling and the development of techniques to safely use it. Topics covered include personal protective equipment, chainsaw safety features, chainsaw reactive forces, bore cutting, pre-planning the fell, and understanding hinge wood strength. 8AM-4PM one-day course. Maximum 10 participants.

Level 2. Maximizing Saw Performance. This workshop focuses on maximizing chainsaw performance through basic maintenance, carburetor setting, and filing techniques. Limbing and bucking techniques are introduced, spring pole cutting is covered and more felling is practiced. 8AM-4PM one-day course. Maximum 10 participants.

Level 3: Limbing, Bucking, and Difficult Trees. This workshop training includes dealing with lean when felling trees; limbing and bucking downed trees; and felling difficult and hung-up trees.

The Game of Logging chainsaw training course is taught by the outstanding instructors from Northeast Woodland Training. Visit their website for detailed course descriptions.

Spring 2018

Cost per training session level: $190

  1. Level I: April 5, 2018 (Thurs) at 8:00 am        (rain date*: April 12)
  2. Level I: April 12, 2018 (Thurs) at 8:00 am      (rain date*: April 19)
  3. Level II: April 19, 2018 (Thurs) at 8:00 am      (rain date*: April 26)
  4. Level III: April 26, 2018 (Thurs) at 8:00 am    (rain date*: May 3)


*GOL workshops are held rain or shine, but may be postponed in the event of extreme weather, particularly high winds. Participants must be available on both the course date and the rain date.


Location and directions: All 2018 GOL workshops will be held at The Waterworks Property, which is located at 4783 Plank Road in Bristol. From the traffic light in downtown Bristol, head north 0.6 miles on North Street. Turn left (west) onto Plank Road and drive 3.5 miles (You will remain on Plank Road through two intersections). The parking area for the Waterworks property is on the right just before a sharp turn to the left over Norton Brook.

How to Register: Download the registration form here. On it you’ll find detailed information about the registration process, including fees, cancellation policies, directions to course meeting sites, etc.  To secure a place in the workshop(s), please complete the registration form and mail with payment to VERMONT FAMILY FORESTS to the address indicated on the form. (We must have payment in hand to reserve a place for you). We will hold your payment until we reach the minimum number of students required for offering the course. If we have already reached the course’s maximum student capacity by the time you submit your registration, we will place you on a waiting list.