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News.bytesNews.bytes Extra, issue 430

AmeriCorps crews help reduce fire danger in Sierra Foothills


AmeriCorps members from across the country are working to reduce fire danger and restore habitat this spring in the Sierra foothills. (text continues below)



One person in a yellow hard hats cut brush with a chainsaw, as another holds surrounding brush out of the way
Laura Heisig and Dane Miller clear brush at Pine Hill Preserve.

AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps members are serving with the Bureau of Land Management to reduce fuels in the Gold Run area, Cameron Park, Davis Mill just outside of Nevada City, and Skunk Hollow by Placerville.

The fuel reduction work that is being done with the BLM includes cutting fire breaks and creating defensible space between houses and communities, chipping brush and trail work. Corps members also may be burning piles that were created in previous fuels reduction projects. In addition to creating fuel breaks in Cameron Park, the NCCC team is also helping to preserve and protect rare and endangered species of plants on the Pine Hill Preserve.

“This is a great opportunity for BLM to get projects completed we couldn’t carry out with our limited staff,” said Bill Haigh, BLM Mother Lode Field Office manager.

Crews cleared brush away from the Indiana Ravine Cabin in the North Fork American River Canyon in the Gold Run area. Archaeologists believe the cabin was built and occupied by a miner during the Depression. The cabin has been vandalized and the work by the AmeriCorps crew reduces fire danger.

Working with the BLM Mother Lode Office has given members an opportunity to refine their skills with chainsaws and learn more about nature. “Working with the BLM has been an incredible educational opportunity. Being able to work with a botanist and learn about rare and protected plants and their role in nature has been a real pleasure. ” says Corps Member Leigh Hackney.

AmeriCorps NCCC is a part of AmeriCorps, a network of national service programs created to improve the environment, enhance education, increase public safety and assist with disaster relief and other unmet human needs.

NCCC members 18-24, must complete at least 1,700 hours of community service during the 10-month program. In exchange for their service, they receive $5,350 to help pay for college or to pay school loans. Other benefits include leadership development, team building skills, increased self-confidence, and the satisfaction of knowing that they have made a real difference in communities across the county, AmeriCorps is administered by the corporation for National Civilian and Community Service. For information about applying to an AmeriCorps program, call 1-800-942-2677 (1-800-94-ACORP) or visit the website at www.AmeriCorps.gov.

A young man in a hard hat uses a chainsaw to cut brush
 Steve Nickollof clears a fuelbreak at Pine Hill Preserve.

A young lady in a yellow hard hat cuts a branch with a chainsaw
Leigh Hackney trims a branch at the Pine Hill Preserve.

A young man sharpens the teeth of a chainsaw
Kirk Becker, front, and Nathan Jaurin take some time out to maintain equipment. 

- David Christy, BLM Central California District, April 2010

BLM-California News.bytes, issue 430

Last updated: 05-20-2010