U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
 
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News.bytesNews.bytes Extra, issue 383


"Making A Difference" award presentations

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar speaks with winners from the Sea Ranch group
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar speaks with representatives of California award winners Nick's Interns and the Sea Ranch California Coastal National Monument Task Force.

Two California groups were honored with the prestigious Bureau of Land Management "Making a Difference" National Volunteer Award for their public service contributions at a May 14, 2009, ceremony at the U.S. Department of the Interior in Washington, D.C.

Nick's Interns: Ray and Marie Raphael founded Nick’s Interns in memory of their son, who worked with the BLM King Range National Conservation Area trail crew and local conservation organizations throughout his high school and college years.  The organization exposes southern Humboldt County youth to environmental careers and positive adult role models -- very important in a rural, economically-depressed area that presents few career opportunities apart from those offered by the “underground economy.”  Ray and Marie raise money to hire high school interns as workers and college interns to provide crew leadership.  In 2008, Nick’s Interns were a critical component of King Range NCA operations during a busy summer season.  They performed trail maintenance on six hiking trails; maintained recreation and administrative sites; removed invasive weeds; monitored fishers and surveyed steelhead; worked on watershed restoration; and developed interpretive materials.  Nick’s Interns’ most significant 2008 contributions benefited the Paradise Royale Mountain Bike Trail.  The students built new trail segments, created crib walls, installed directional signs, built kiosks, and constructed a new day-use trailhead.  This trail now receives national attention from mountain biking enthusiasts and the International Mountain Bicycling Association, and was the subject of a feature article in Bike magazine.

Marie Raphael
Nick's Interns

Ray Rafael
Nick's Interns

Marie Raphael of Nick's Interns

Ray Rafael of Nick's Interns close-up

 

BLM Acting Deputy Director Michael Nedd presents the award to the Sea Ranch California Coastal National Monument Task Force as BLM California's Arcata Field Manager Linda Roush looks on.
BLM Acting Deputy Director Michael Nedd presents the award to representatives of the Sea Ranch California Coastal National Monument Task Force

The Sea Ranch California Coastal National Monument Taskforce: Under a stewardship agreement with BLM, the 45 volunteers of The Sea Ranch Association’s taskforce monitor and document human disturbances on rocks and islands within BLM’s California Coastal National Monument, along the northern Sonoma County coastline.  In 2008, The Sea Ranch stewards expanded the program to include year-round monitoring of the Monument’s major seabird colonies and resident marine mammals.  Stewards use data-intensive ground and airplane observations of breeding seabirds to document nesting success, even funding nine overflights of seabird colonies within one year.  At every opportunity, the taskforce has used ingenuity, technical expertise, and scientific methods to develop and refine monitoring protocols, document a baseline for marine wildlife use of Monument islands in northern Sonoma County, and maintain high-quality, biologically-significant information in great detail. 

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar wears a Nick's Interns cap, while sharing a laugh with Diane Hichwa of the Sea Ranch Taskforce (center) and Marie Raphael, one of the founders of Nick's Interns
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar wears a "Nick's Interns" cap while sharing a laugh with two award winners

Award winners from around the country pose for a group portrait:
Award winners from around the country pose for a group portrait

"BLM presents 2009 national awards to volunteers who are 'Making a Difference' on public lands" (BLM news release, 5/18/09)


BLM-California News.bytes, issue 383 


 
Last updated: 05-26-2009