Youth help in Rush Fire recovery efforts
|A team convenes in an area burned by the Rush Fire to discuss establishment of monitoring transects.||A group excavates a soil-testing pit. (See READ MORE for additional photos). Photos submitted|
Aug. 6, 2013 — A wave of youthful enthusiasm is washing over the Bureau of Land Management’s Eagle Lake Field Office in Susanville, as an unprecedented number of participants in youth programs are working on a wide array of natural resource-related projects.
In all, more than 30 youth hires, including interns, college graduates and high school students are helping with recovery from last summer’s Rush Fire, establishing rangeland monitoring points, working on the new South Side Recreation Trail, assisting with sage-grouse conservation and improving conditions at the Fort Sage Off Highway Vehicle Area near Doyle.
|Youth hires and BLM staff members participate in a training session at the BLM Ravendale Fire Station.|
The young workforce has given the Northeast California field office a three-fold increase in on-the-ground personnel for the summer “field” season. In exchange, the participants are getting valuable hands-on experience in natural resource conservation.
“It has been incredible to see the level of talent and enthusiasm these young people are bringing to their work,” said Ken Collum, manager of the Eagle Lake Field Office. “Public lands and natural resources will see long-term benefits, and we hope that many of these participants will use this experience as a stepping stone into natural resources careers.”
Youth from the Student Conservation Association, Great Basin Institute and Chicago Botanical Gardens programs are participating in the projects and training.
Significant work is underway on the 315,000 acres burned in last summer’s Rush Fire and the surrounding areas of Northeast California and Northwest Nevada. There, 10 members of the Student Conservation Association, 15 from the Great Basin Institute and two Chicago Botanical Gardens interns are learning about rangeland monitoring and putting their new skills to work.
“By the end of fall, teams will have established more than 270 vegetation monitoring plots that will be used by our staff in long-term monitoring of the grasses and shrub communities vitally important for wildlife habitat, livestock grazing operations and for the people who recreate on the public lands,” Collum said.
In the Susan River Canyon west of Susanville, student members spent several days of hard work cutting new trail in the rocky bluffs overlooking the river. Their work on the South Side Trail is getting the BLM a few steps closer to connecting the new route to the Devil’s Corral Trailhead about seven miles up the canyon from Susanville.
After completing that assignment, the crew turned its attention to the sagebrush-steppe of the Horse Lake area, which is important habitat for greater sage-grouse. They removed unused utility poles and attached flagging to fences in a project to remove perching areas from which raptors can prey on sage-grouse chicks.
At OHV recreation areas managed by the field office, three student interns have helped the BLM install new signs, undertake restoration projects and complete maintenance. Work is being completed at the Fort Sage OHV Area in southern Lassen County, and at the Dry Valley OHV site in far Northwest Nevada.
“All of us in BLM offer our thanks to these young people for the work they are doing to help us sustain our nation’s natural resources. Their work helps the BLM to ensure continuing recreational opportunities and economic benefit for our communities,” said BLM California State Director Jim Kenna. “We hope that one day some of these youths will return as agency employees, carrying (on) the tradition of public service.”
Grizzlies look back on football season
Cole McCown, back left, Sam Joseph, Franky Shepherd, Quinn Thompson, Case Bennett, Jace Woginrich, front left, Tyler Clark, Colton Faure, Jake Thomas and Kyle Barnetche were all presented with awards during the Lassen High School varsity football awards ceremony Wednesday, Dec. 4. Photo by Maddie...Read More...
Lassen High wrestling hosts Purple and Gold Scrimmage
The Lassen High School wrestling team held its annual Purple and Gold Scrimmage on Wednesday, Dec. 4 in the Lassen High gym. The wrestling team broke up into two teams, purple and gold, and faced off in a night of wrestling that gave fans a taste of what they can expect in the coming season. Lassen...Read More...
Cougars face tough teams to prepare for a victorious season
TJ McCauley attempts to keep the ball away from a Fresno City College player during the championship basketball game of the El Camino Tournament on Sunday, Nov. 24. The Lassen Community College Cougars have been competing in pre-season tournaments and have earned several wins. Photo by Scott Nordstrom Dec....Read More...