HAF Applauds Congress for Passage of Great American Outdoors Act, Permanent Funding for LWCF Benefits Nation’s Diverse Communities
WASHINGTON, D.C. – With Latino Conservation Week in full swing, Congress’ passing of the Great American Outdoors Act ensures this year’s celebration will be one for the ages.
A new report from Hispanic Access Foundation and the Center for American Progress finds that people of color, low-income communities, and families with children are most likely to be deprived of the benefits that nature provides. The report, which analyzes new data from Conservation Science Partners, comes as the nation’s reckoning with racism and violence against Black people has brought environmental injustices and disparities into greater focus.
WASHINGTON - The Trump Administration, the National Park Service, and National Park Foundation invite everyone to join in the celebration for Latino Conservation Week from July 18 through 26.
Seventh Annual Latino Conservation Week Kicks Off This Weekend, Breaks Down Barriers to the Outdoors and Inspires Tomorrow’s Stewards
Communities throughout the country will enjoy and connect with the great outdoors during the 7th annual Latino Conservation Week, which begins July 18 and runs through July 26. While this year will lean more toward virtual activities like online expeditions, roundtable discussions, Q&A sessions, scavenger hunts, film screenings and the like, nearly 100 events are being celebrated nationwide.
When I first read the project description and goals for the fellowship position at Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office, I knew I had to apply. The goal is to develop a conservation implementation strategy for a species listed under the Endangered Species Act. After I was accepted, I often daydreamed about working with the elusive Sierra Nevada red fox or gray wolf (since then, I have learned that the former is not yet officially listed under the Act, and the latter is not under the jurisdiction of my Region). On my first day, my supervisor shared a list of species that would be a good fit for the project – they were all plants.
Hey guys! Welcome to my second blog post!
I thought this time around I would talk more about the internship itself and what I have been experiencing as a teleworking intern (Quick project update below). Originally the FWS was going to fly me to West Virginia for orientation and then fly me to California, where I would have done fieldwork and worked on my internship project. However, as all of you know, this year is a little different. Due to the current pandemic, the FWS decided to cancel these travel plans and in-person projects and switch everything to telework. Despite a few IT problems at the start of this internship, teleworking has been an interesting experience that has motivated me to stay more connected with others.
Although all my work is behind a computer screen, I have gotten to meet so many new people during this internship. The DFP coordinators have been encouraging us to network and connect with others, whether it be with FWS employees or other DFP interns. Probably one of the coolest networking opportunities that I have been able to do is conduct informational interviews with different FWS employees. Hearing about all the different jobs there are within the service and the journeys these people experienced is inspiring. Connecting with other interns has also been a big highlight of the DFP. Getting to hear about the variety of projects taking place and sharing ideas as well as frustrations has been very encouraging and reassuring throughout this whole process.
With only a few more weeks until the end of this internship, it is crazy to think about how everything has played out. Although I have not been able to meet everyone in-person or travel as planned, this has been such a great opportunity for me to learn, network, and meet new people. Despite the distance between all of us, it is awesome how we can still stay connected and share our passion for wildlife, conservation, and science.
A Quick Project Update:
I have finished the first drafts of the Rapid Species Status Assessments for both the MPB and LVBP. I have put both documents into a PowerPoint format and have also created some occurrence maps for both species using Geographic Informational System software. The week of July 20, 2020, I helped the FWS's Sacramento Regional office At-Risk Species Team facilitate two four-hour-long meetings and presented these PowerPoints. It was nerve-racking speaking in front of scientific experts and land managers, but it was such an amazing experience. I have another presentation coming up the week of the 27th, where I will present my project along with other DFPs who also have pollinator focused projects, to the FWS’s Pollinator Advisory Team.
Until next time (my last blog post), remember to stay safe and bee kind,
Photo: My daily video call with my supervisor Kat Powelson and fellow Sacramento Regional Office DFP At-Risk Species intern Nina Tortosa.
Agency: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Program: US Fish & Wildlife Service - DFP
Location: Sacramento Regional Office
Through my HAF fellowship at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service headquarters, I have been able to see a side of the Service most early professionals don’t see. It has been fascinating to observe inner workings of a federal agency at the highest level. Playing an active role in headquarters still has me perplexed as I regularly ask myself, “Wow, how did I end up here?”
As I am getting closer to completing my fellowship with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), I’ve had some time to reflect on the position and the agency. Overall, I am very impressed with the mission and the work that the USFWS performs and demonstrates. The support of the agency has been indescribable; they treat their DFPs like a member of the community, respect each person, and want to help us achieve our goals. This fellowship alone has not only introduced me to the Service but has confirmed my passion to work for the USFWS once I complete my degree.
Held on April 4, 2019, this webinar explored issues around public lands, water and climate, and identifies the health, economic and cultural impact on Latino communities.
August 25, 2016 marks the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service and to commemorate the occasion, we're looking back at the effort to protect the California desert, which resulted in three new national monuments.
Land, Water y Comunidad explores the relationship Latinos across the nation have with Land and Water Conservation Fund sites – what it means to them, how they enjoy them and the impact it would have if these lands weren’t available.