In the most famous passage of the Wilderness Act, writer Howard Zahniser deﬁnes wilderness beautifully and concisely: “A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.” As my crewmates and I work to prepare Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge to host the Wilderness Act’s 50th birthday party—which will include a visit from the public lands manager to all public lands managers, Secretar
Follow Me is the place to read field dispatches from SCA members serving the planet all over the USA.
Jeffrey Sommer | August 27, 2014
Hungry predators are determined to get a good meal, even if it isn’t easy. Plenty of our screened nests see attempted predation by raccoons, coyotes, bobcats, and ghost crabs. Luckily the seashores boar population hasn’t gotten involved in this trend, as a boar could easily shred through the metal screens that we install to protect the nests.
Marinell Chandler | August 26, 2014
As of today, our new puppy is over two weeks old. His eyes have opened, and he is growing very quickly from the little pup that could ﬁt in my one hand to one that is starting to toddle around the ﬂoor of his pen. From day one after this pup’s birth we’ve been asked what his name is, and we ﬁnally an answer.
Emily Bowles | August 22, 2014
When William Bradford hopped off of the Mayﬂower and onto Plymouth Rock, he described the landscape that lay before him as a “hideous and desolate wilderness.” Wilderness, in 1620, was not a scarce resource to be protected and treasured. It was scary and empty, a wasted space awaiting the day that an enterprising human might chop it up, organize it, and put it to good use.
Jacob Cravens | August 19, 2014
Amosh Neupane | August 18, 2014
While loading the hard hats into our van at Floyd Bennett Field, I heard someone ask, “Why are we taking these hats with us to the ceremony?” Someone behind me replied, “Maybe these are our graduation caps.” And it was then that it dawned on me: there would be no going back to work on Monday, there would be no packing up lunch, there would be no waking up in the wee hours of the morning and taking the train to Manhattan. Our morning meetups at Castle Clinton would be history.
Jeffrey Sommer | August 16, 2014
Turtle Conservation isn’t all starlit, beachside fun and games folks. In fact a good chunk of the work I do keeping sea turtles off the extinction list happens inside the library of Canaveral National Seashore headquarters. In order to prove that sea turtle conservation is working and worthwhile, we need to document every single turtle event on the beach, from nesting to standing. It’s not as easy as opening up a tablet and inputting all the information on a spreadsheet, right there on the beach.
Marinell Chandler | August 14, 2014
The next generation of Denali’s wilderness protectors has arrived!
This past week, the kennels became a whir of activity preparing for – and ﬁnally, celebrating – the arrival of Sylvie’s due date. Late at night on August 9th Sylvie
Jacob Cravens | August 12, 2014
What good can I do? I’m only one person in my twenties. What can I do when the environmental crisis is so big and the obstacles so large? Multinationals make billions of dollars causing damage to the environment and billions of people use their products. I have $5.25 and my SCA payment card in my wallet. There are other people like me that care about the environment, right? Are they enough?
Caroline Woodward | August 8, 2014
I would say a lot has happened in the past week, but really something different happens every day. No two service days are the same, and we are eating it up more than the mosquitoes are eating us up (which is a considerable amount; they don’t call it Mosquito Lagoon for nothing).
Jeffrey Sommer | August 8, 2014
People have always told to me to pursue my passions, and that if you love your job it will feel like you’ve never worked a day in your life. I am an active person who loves the outdoors, and I am uber passionate about the natural world. When presented with the opportunity to spend my ﬁrst post-collegiate summer outdoors and on the beach as a Herpetology Intern at Canaveral National Seashore, how could I refuse?
Marinell Chandler | August 7, 2014
Amosh Neupane | August 5, 2014
We tried several times, but failed every single time. There always seemed to be something faulty in our technique or our positioning. During one of the ﬁrst attempts, the people on the base layer were spaced too wide apart and we couldn’t stay stable. Another time, most of us were having trouble carrying the weight, so we never made it past the second level. Despite our unfaltering efforts, we didn’t succeed. I and my friends returned home from Governors Island disappointed in ourselves for failing to build a stable human pyramid.
Amosh Neupane | July 28, 2014
Instead of working at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, the crew was headed to a new location: Soundview Park in the Bronx. I was horriﬁed when our crew leaders shared information about the carnivorous black ﬂies in the salt marsh where we would be working. The shocking news had me worrying for the rest of the day: “What if a ﬂy takes a chunk out of my face?”
PaHoua Lee | July 26, 2014
Sea lions, and monkeyface eels, and kayaking oh my! Everyone loves Fridays, including SCA crews. A wonderful aspect of participating in a Community Crew is the fact that Fridays are designated as environmental education days. Crew leaders plan activities and trips that expose crew members to local initiatives, green businesses, and recreational experiences.
Nicole Catino | July 17, 2014
Amosh Neupane | July 17, 2014
What’s the difference between an axe-mattock, a pick-mattock, and a pick-axe? Which rake is better, the hard or the soft one? How does one separate a poison ivy plant from other, non-harmful shrubs? What’s the best thing about mugwort? I could go on with the questions… This ﬁrst week has been all about questions for me.
PaHoua Lee | July 16, 2014
Removing invasive plant species can be really fun! Until of course, the week has passed and you realize you’ve spent the entire time removing invasive plants… and somehow you have managed to get poison oak not just on your arms, but your ankles as well… Whoo! Welcome to our ﬁrst week this season!
PaHoua Lee | July 15, 2014
The work has begun! Each morning we pick up crew members in downtown Richmond, California, and drive to our ﬁrst location at Wildcat Canyon Regional Park. With easy access to 2500 acres, this area is a popular place for residents interested in day hikes and barbequing.
PaHoua Lee | July 7, 2014
My parents were born and raised in Laos. They were farmers, built homes from mud and plants, and did their best to live off the land. Although they immigrated to the United States in 1985, their love of farming has persisted to this day. I was born and raised in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and each summer of my childhood was spent alongside my mother in garden plots my family rented, shaping beds for seeds and seedlings, watering and weeding by hand, building structures for green beans and peas. Our hard work was rewarded with a harvest of succulent fruit and vegetables each season.