At Station 1, Engine Captain Adrian Porchas gave a demonstration of the drip torch and how it is used to fight wildland fires. Courtesy/USDA Forest Service
Each year The Family YMCA sponsors a Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) trail crew through a New Mexico YCC grant program that benefits both Los Alamos County and Forest Service area trails. Under the terms of the grant, the Y’s crew members are selected from the Española, Los Alamos, Santa Fe, Pojoaque and Sandoval County areas.
On July 13, during the Forest Service’s Public Lands Day, the Y’s crew members receive special training and educational opportunities as part of their summer job. The training was an introduction to the annual Introduction to Public Lands Day. This workshop introduced them to the Forest Service mission, the staff on the Española Ranger District and demonstrated how the specialists work together as a team in the best interest of the forest’s resources.
This year the Y crew cycled through four work stations at the Santa Fe National Forest’s Española Ranger District. The morning started off with the elite Española fire team demonstrating the tools of their trade and what it takes to be a firefighter.
Priscilla Diaz packed out a hose lay for a pretend remote location fire.Courtesy/USDA Forest Service
Larry Martinez demonstrated how water is used.Courtesy/USDA Forest Service
At Station 2, Miles Standish explained how to keep tools sharp and in good condition.Courtesy/USDA Forest Service
At Station 3, Anne Baldwin explained the basics of the archaeology program. Courtesy/USDA Forest Service
Anne gave the students some hands-on experience with pottery sherds while she explained the importance of area “settings” and why people should not pick up and collect artifacts. Courtesy/USDA Forest Service
Students learned to sort the sherds according to the different “types” and how that correlates to a specific time, culture and place. Courtesy/USDA Forest Service
In the afternoon, the crew visited Technical Area 49 (TA-49), the interagency fire center located at Los Alamos National Laboratory. TA-49 is home to Santa Fe Helitack, and moments before the class arrived, the Helitack staff was dispatched to a reported smoke in the Jemez Mountains, which turned out to be the Monastery Fire near Jemez Springs. The Monastery Fire made the evening news that night. Even without the Helitack crew to lead the tour, students met with the fire effects specialists and got to see how fire locations are plotted and mapped, and how a sand table works. Courtesy/USDA Forest Service
Introduction to Public Lands Day was a fun and educational way to give the YCC crew a short break from their summer routine. Then it was back to work on area trails, including the new easement trail at Los Alamos Reservoir. Courtesy/USDA Forest Service