USDA Blog: Forests in Arizona Train Veterans

USDA
Monday, January 30, 2012

Reblogged from the USDA Blog. Article by Candra Berg, U.S. Forest Service Office of Communication.

Civilian life is unlike that of military life in the service. Two forests, the Apache-Sitgreaves and the Prescott National Forest have recently developed programs to help veterans in their transition to civilian life.

Through grants obtained by the U.S. Forest Service, these programs were offered to veterans from multiple branches of the armed forces with varied military service backgrounds. Veterans were hired to these corps teams and worked on fuels reduction as wildland firefighters doing wildland fire suppression.

Obtaining valuable work experience and training that can translate into local seasonal jobs and translatable skills will benefit the veterans while aiding these local forests with forest management.

Within this core team were multiple trainings, certifications and classes concentrating on proper use for power saws, ATV training and wilderness first aid and more. The Student Conservation Association worked with the Apache-Sitgreaves and the Prescott National Forests to develop these programs.

These crews worked prescribed burns, trail and road maintenance and fireline construction among other conservation tasks both in the field and in the office. Both the Prescott National Forest team and the Apache-Sitgreaves team mainly worked on fire-related management issues to proactively combat the wildland fires that affect the forests of Arizona.