USDA Forest Service

USDA Forest Service

News, Stories & Projects

A Forest Service wildlife surveyer triumphantly (and delicately) displays the object of her search, a Sacramento Mountain Salamander.

It’s a Wednesday morning, and we five members of the Smokey Bear Ranger District wildlife crew (well, two members, two interns, and me, a Student Conservation Association recreation intern tagging along for the adventure) are in our office for the week: the Sacramento Mountain Wilderness. In 2004, the Peppin Fire burned most of the range, and since then the wilderness has reclaimed the trail system with a vengeance.

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Davon Goodwin, SCA Alum at work with the Veterans Fire Corps

Davon Goodwin had already made a range of contributions – and sacrifices – before he joined SCA. An Army veteran, he’d pulled extended tours of Iraq and Afghanistan; in the latter, an improvised explosive device fired shrapnel into his brain and shattered two vertebrae.  Davon says recovering from his wounds was nearly as daunting as recovering his focus.

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For the first Wildlife hitch, the crew consisted of Josephine Gingerich and Tyler Garrett.  This project is mostly active field biology on a range of species.  For our first hitch we headed to the town of Leadore, ID, population 105.  Originally a mining town (lead-ore), it is surrounded by vast sagebrush foothills, rife with wildflowers.  This is habitat for the Greater Sage-grouse, a bird species that is a candidate for Idaho’s endangered species list.  These birds have special locati

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