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“As a corpsmember at RMYC I spent my time as Team Leader on Crew #1: The Environmental Stewardship Crew. Our ten months were devoted to Sustainable Forestry work in La Jara Canyon and to trailwork around northern New Mexico; our largest trail project was at the Wild Rivers Recreation area near Questa. This experience taught me many beneficial aspects of working with a team and representing volunteerism. I also learned many valuable and practical hands-on skills. Most of all, while working with RMYC, I made some great friends and had many excellent mentors. When I graduated in December of 2010 I wondered where I could go next to pursue conservation, volunteerism, and continue to enjoy my love of nature. While waiting for inspiration, and interviews for possible jobs, I returned home to the family farm to put my chainsaw experience to work on my own land clearing a long-ignored orchard. Within a few months I was hired as a Student Conservation Associate for a six-month internship at Manzanar National Historic Site just outside of Independence, California. During my time at SCA I led several volunteer groups in clearing historic roads, removing non-historic fences, and even got to help with an archeological dig.
In addition to working with volunteers I ran a Youth Conservation Corps crew and worked with a SCA trailcrew through this lovely summer in the Mojave Desert. I also got a chance to hike around in the backcountry of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks and to climb Mt. Whitney, the highest summit in the lower 48. When this internship ended I continued my work with the SCA through a position at Grand Canyon National Park. Currently I am engaged in a year-long internship with the Vegetation Program with primary duties on the North Rim. My duties include salvaging native plants, collecting seeds for propagation and planting at restoration sites. Also mitigating visitor impact and removing invasive species. I am grateful for my time and friends at RMYC. With this experience and these helpful voices on my side I have been able to continually move forward towards my goals of living in and working to preserve some of our Nation’s most beautiful lands.”