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US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes

HOPPER MOUNTAIN NWRC: 2009 Volunteer Appreciation Bash a Success

Region 8, January 23, 2010
Hopper Mountain NWRC volunteers and staff of 2009 pose for a group photo in front of the Santa Barbara Zoo California condor exhibit. (photo: USFWS)
Hopper Mountain NWRC volunteers and staff of 2009 pose for a group photo in front of the Santa Barbara Zoo California condor exhibit. (photo: USFWS) - Photo Credit: n/a
Condor Field Crew Supervisor, Joseph Brandt, hugs Jan Hamber, a dedicated volunteer for the California Condor Recovery Program for more than 30 years (photo: USFWS).
Condor Field Crew Supervisor, Joseph Brandt, hugs Jan Hamber, a dedicated volunteer for the California Condor Recovery Program for more than 30 years (photo: USFWS). - Photo Credit: n/a

by Lisa Cox, Hopper Mountain NWRC
On January 23, 2010,the Hopper Mountain National Wildlife Refuge Complex hosted its 3rd Annual Volunteer Bash to celebrate the hard work of 34 volunteers and interns, who contributed 8,464 hours to the Refuge. 

A total of 26 volunteers and FWS interns, and additional FWS staff members gathered  to remember a year of California condor nest monitoring, trail and habitat work, invasive species removal, plant inventory, blind building and activities by the Refuge Friends group:  Friends of California Condors Wild and Free. 

The Santa Barbara Zoo, a California Condor Recovery Program partner, graciously contributed their staff, time, and resources to help host the event, which took place near the new condor exhibit.  The volunteers were greeted with name tags and an official Klean KanteenĀ© water bottle fitted with both the FWS and California Condor Recovery Program logos.  After an hour of socializing, the food catered by the Zoo arrived and everyone settled down to listen to the appreciative words of project leader Marc Weitzel, field Supervisor Joseph Brandt, and Bitter Creek refuge manager Mike Stockton, who recognized the efforts of each volunteer.  

Working in the field at remote areas of Hopper Mountain and Bitter Creek national wildlife refuges, it is difficult to touch base with fellow employees and volunteers.  The Bash provides volunteers and staff the opportunity to meet and socialize.  It is clear that the volunteers feel a connection to the California condor and national wildlife refuges.  Hopefully they will be back for more with a brand new year of condor nests!

Contact Info: Michael Woodbridge, 916-978-4445, michael_woodbridge@fws.gov