This last chapter of the fellowship has really been about applying my past experiences and passion for the outdoors to our COVID-tailored world of distance-learning and safe exploring. It’s a journey we might be on for a while longer and gaining the skills to bring people to helpful resources online will be useful for years beyond now. But first, I’ll sum up how this last stretch of work has been going.
The website took a lot of time just to understand the layout and content mapping, but it’s flowing well and nearing its completion. In the process, I’ve learned a lot about not just website mapping, but also of the ecology and history of the Angeles Forest. I think the Angeles Forest is a perfect example of just how rich and diverse these green spaces can be even with how close and integrated it is with about 18 million residents nearby. There seems to always be something new to learn, experience, and share. The Angeles Forest proves itself to be a thriving space with many stories and perspectives in its' history which are continuing on today as we deepen our understanding and access to our nearby green spaces.
Overall, this experience with the Forest Service has opened my perspective of resource protection. Where other agencies stress the “hands-off” experience for visitors, the Forest Service approaches land use with a conservate manner. This opens unique opportunities for reaching visitors and one I hope to explore more moving forward. As environmental concerns continue like wildfires, water accessibility, land use, etc., now more than ever protection lies on the backs of visitors and our shared appreciation with these places. Moving forward, hopefully with the addition of policies to greater the impact of public concern, we can continue to mold the definition and application of resource conservation and expand our national parks, forests, and many more places in this growing world. This is an effort I will continue to apply myself to and hopefully will have more opportunities to do so after serving this term with HAF and the Forest Service.
Be safe and happy trails!
Agency: U.S Forest Service
Program: Resource Assistant Program (RAP)
Location: Angeles National Forest