A Talk on the Wild Side.
|Jason talks to students on a field trip.|
Jason Pyron is the Sage-grouse Coordinator for the Idaho Fish & Wildlife Office in Boise, Idaho. His typical day involves working extensively with partners to ensure the long-term conservation of our sagebrush steppe landscapes.
5 questions for Jason
1. What inspired you to work with young people?
My mom was my greatest inspiration for me to work with young people. She's dedicated her life as a teacher and administrator to our future through education. Through her, I realized that it's all of our jobs to help educate the next generation.
2. What is your favorite part of working with kids?
Their honesty, simplicity and sincere sense of naive enjoyment when they see something spectacular in nature for the first time. Seeing them get excited gets me excited, and reminds me how awesome and important our wildlife and natural resources are.
3. What is the best way to connect youth with nature?
Get them out into it.
|Students check out greater sage-grouse on a lek and a golden eagle nest.|
4. How do we compete with video games, TV and the Internet?
Provide kids with diverse experiences with their peers that are genuinely exciting and challenging. Nature sells itself if provided the opportunity. It might be as simple as catching bugs and frogs in a neighborhood pond for some young children, but as kids get older they need to be exposed to more exciting landscapes and greater challenges.
Some of the most unforgettable moments from my youth were catching my first spring steelhead, bugling my first bull elk into 30 yards, and running my first Class IV rapid on the Salmon River.
I still shut the TV and my computer off for weeks or months at a time to hunt coastal brown bears on the Alaskan Peninsula or bighorn sheep in Idaho's Frank Church Wilderness. Why? Because it's exciting and challenging, and it gives me that same fuzzy feeling in my belly that I got as a kid from those unforgettable moments!
5. Why is working with youth important?
Simply – the future of our wild landscapes and the wildlife that inhabits them depends on young people caring. To ensure North America's conservation legacy is passed onto future generations, we all must accept the responsibility and the challenge to work with our youth in nature.
Children who spend time in nature are healthier – physically, mentally and emotionally, studies show. To foster a connection with nature, the Service encourages children and parents to go outside. National Wildlife Refuges and other Service facilities sponsor fishing days, hikes, workshops to learn about hunting, the nation’s amazing wildlife and more. The Department of the Interior also is committed to helping youth connect with nature. The Service is also determined to develop the next generation of conservationists.