FIREMON in Wayne National Forest has come to a close for now after successfully monitoring 221 plots! It would be hard to list every individual who made an impact on our journey but below are folks who deserve an extra thanks for their help in making this season a success.
Jonathan Olsen, Forest Fuels Specialist for Wayne National Forest, served as the main agency contact and was instrumental in developing the SCA FIREMON program in Wayne National Forest. In addition to answering many questions along the way, Jonathan assisted team members by sending out job opportunities, organizing S-130/1-90 Fire Fighter training, and providing corps members with firefighting experience in Wayne National Forest.
Jill Kolodzne, Director of SCA Conservation Corps Fire, supported both teams efficiently and effectively, even from a distance. Her diligence organizing logistics, answering countless questions, and orchestrating all the behind-the-scenes magic empowered each team to be well prepared and field ready.
Nick Galentin, Biological Sciences Technician for Wayne National Forest, served as the agency contact for the Athens SCA team. His understanding of the local ecosystem and previous data collection processes proved invaluable in both the field and office. He mentored team members in local botany and assisted the Athens team troubleshooting the FFI database. The success of this season is due in no small part to Nick’s knowledge and patience.
Jason Simms, Forestry Technician Senior Firefighter for Wayne National Forest, served as the agency contact for the Ironton SCA team. Jason’s presence in the field aiding in tree identification and fuels measurement was always welcomed and enjoyed. He assisted the Ironton team with data entry and office work, and shared his abundant knowledge of the fire world with the teams as an instructor for the Fire Fighter training course.
Brian Doughty, Program Manager for SCA Fire, stepped in mid-season and assisted immensely in helping the end of the season run smoothly. Brian joined both teams in the field to gain a better understanding of their work and experience as corps members. His flexibility and patience was greatly appreciated during his visit.
Chad Kirschbaum, former Botanist for Wayne National Forest, immensely aided the teams in plant identification skills and assisted in identifying unknown species found in FIREMON plots.
Scottie Kiser, IRD Engine Captain for Wayne National Forest, assisted the Ironton team on office days and helped get both teams certified to work on fires.
Gary Chancey, Public Affairs Officer for Wayne National Forest, photographed the teams in the field, recorded a podcast documenting SCA FIREMON work, and created a poster that stood in the Wayne’s Headquarters for visitors to view and learn about the SCA’s efforts.
Fred Johnson, Telecommunications Specialist for Wayne National Forest, made it possible for SCA corps members to access the FFI database at the Forest Service offices and served diligently as FFI troubleshooter throughout the season.
Daniel Yaussy, Research Forester for Vinton Furnace Experimental Forest, guided the SCA teams on a tour of the Experimental Forest and educated corps members on fire ecology for Wayne National Forest.
Lorraine McCosker, Ohio University professor and president of the local Sierra Club chapter, welcomed SCA into the Athens community by inviting both teams into her home for a viewing of “The Forest Returns”. This insightful film and the discussion that followed led to a more balanced view of land management challenges in Wayne National Forest.
Sassafras Farms, a local organic farm hosted a Sierra Club potluck and a sustainable energy tour of their facilities where SCA members were welcomed. They provided warm hospitality and inspired the corps members to create a more sustainable society.
Michael Armandarez, Fire Division Supervisor for Wayne National Forest, helped the teams become FFT2 certified and work on fires.
And a big thanks to Corps Members for all their hard work this season!