17 December 2020

Outdoor Recreation

Written by: Edgar Ortuño

Now, halfway through my fellowship with the Forest Service I have been absorbing a plethora of knowledge on managing public lands, and more specifically outdoor recreation. A study conducted by Deborah J. Chavez explains the unique recreation preferences expressed by Latinos in Southern California. In her study, the overarching themes very much correlate with my upbringing in outdoor recreation, they include day trips, recreating with family, and picnicking as an all-day activity.  


Growing up in Southern California, on my parent’s day off we would wake up early, travel up the San Bernardino Mountains make our way through the early morning crowd until finding an ideal place to set up camp in Lytle Creek. At around noon, you start smelling the distinct aromas from delicious food prepared by various Latino families throughout the morning. You also can’t help but begin to notice small pools formed by children using rocks throughout the creek. In what seems like a huge planned celebration, this was my early experience with outdoor recreation.  

As I reflect on these instances, I begin to notice where my appreciation and stewardship of nature stems from and it is precisely from moments spent recreating with my family at Lytle Creek. Then in college, I saw my relationship with nature shift as I began to study and discuss strategies to tackle negative implications of climate change. In my current position as a USFS fellow, I aim to continue producing work that will allow for more Latinx individuals and families to share experiences in outdoor recreation. 

Agency: U.S Forest Service

Program: Resource Assistant Program (RAP)

Location: USFS Headquarters, Washington Office

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