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US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes
MODOC NWR: High School Muscle Perks Up Modoc Refuge
Region 8, August 12, 2009
Modoc Youth Conservation Crew cleaning up Modoc National Forest campsites.  Photo by Betsy Fain
Modoc Youth Conservation Crew cleaning up Modoc National Forest campsites. Photo by Betsy Fain - Photo Credit: n/a
Youth Conservation Crew banding greater sandhill crane colt. photo courtesy Dominic Bachman
Youth Conservation Crew banding greater sandhill crane colt. photo courtesy Dominic Bachman - Photo Credit: n/a
Refuge biologist Dominic Bachman assisting Youth Conservation Crew member band greater sandhill crane colt. Photo by Daniel Grier.
Refuge biologist Dominic Bachman assisting Youth Conservation Crew member band greater sandhill crane colt. Photo by Daniel Grier. - Photo Credit: n/a
Youth Conservation Crew members helping California Waterfowl Biological Aid Jacob Byers band greater sandhill crane.  Photo by Dominic Bachman
Youth Conservation Crew members helping California Waterfowl Biological Aid Jacob Byers band greater sandhill crane. Photo by Dominic Bachman - Photo Credit: n/a
Diorama painted by Modoc National Wildlife Refuge Youth Conservation Corps for new displays in visitor center.
Diorama painted by Modoc National Wildlife Refuge Youth Conservation Corps for new displays in visitor center. - Photo Credit: n/a
Close up of the diorama the Youth Conservation Crew painted. Photo by Ladel Bonham
Close up of the diorama the Youth Conservation Crew painted. Photo by Ladel Bonham - Photo Credit: n/a

by Sean Cross, Modoc NWR
This summer, Modoc National Wildlife Refuge in Alturas, Calif., benefitted from the work of 11 hard working teenage workers from Alturas, and 1 from Littleton, Colo., part of the refuge’s Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) summer jobs program. The YCC corps was funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)

 

The additional funding allowed the refuge to hire twice as many youths as it normally does for its YCC Corps, and resulted in completion of several projects on the refuge. The teens completed various projects on multiple refuge units and also provided help to  the Modoc National Forest. The two crews of 6 teens were led by supervisors Tim MacDonnell and Betsy Fain except when they teamed up with Student Conservation Association interns and the Back Country Horseman of America to venture into the Warner Mountain Wilderness Area on The National Forest.

 

The crews rebuilt refuge fences, repaired entry signs, planted native trees, conducted trash cleanup, constructed landscaping at the main gate, constructed decorative fencing and a kiosk at the south hunt lot on the refuge, removed invasive weeds, and completed a significant number of other projects.  In fact, the crews far exceeded expectations and completed the summer work list long before the season was over and started on some  back-logged maintenance projects as well. 

 

Crew members also helped out with a new visitor exhibit by hand painting an incredibly impressive interpretive display.  The crews gladly assisted the Modoc National Forest by clearing trails in the Warner Mountain Wilderness and culminated their summer in the Blue Lake area clearing trails, including an accessible trail in need of maintenance. They also enjoyed some water time as they cleaned trash out of Blue Lake itself and took time out for a swim. 

 

The YCC youth learned a great deal about the natural environment through it all with presentations from the Back Country Horsemen of America, Student Conservation Association, and the Refuge by banding greater sandhill crane colts, night banding waterfowl, collecting native plant seeds, and planting aspens and cottonwoods for a riparian restoration project. Many of the teens were employed for the first time in their lives so we also introduced them to a structured safety program and organized work day. 

Contact Info: Sean Cross, (530)233-3572 xt13, sean_cross@fws.gov