Project Leader: Robert Woelz Project Dates: May 19 - November 19, 2010 Email address: RWoelz@thesca.org 
ARRA Poster 
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!
Press release published in the Sierra Club’s Appalachian Ohio Group Newsletter, “Footnotes from the Foothills” Vol VI Number 6, Nov-Dec 2010. (pg. 7)
October proved to be a busy yet exciting month as the team wrapped up field work and welcomed visitors to our neck of the woods. So much has happened that it’s hard to know where to begin!
Team members felt very fortunate to partake in an opportunity to tour the Vinton Experimental Forest  with Research Forester, Daniel Yaussy. Current research in the forest focuses on the effects of using thinning and prescribed fire to restore mixed-oak ecosystems and fire behavior and dynamics. Vinton Furnace is one of the first sites to conduct ecosystem-based studies on the effects of fire in the central hardwood region. Team members left with a better appreciation for how the FIREMON data they have collected throughout the season is utilized as well as the importance of oak and hickory regeneration. In addition, the forest also contains remnants of the abundant iron mining that dominated in the area in the late 1800s.
During the last field days, the Cuyahoga Valley National Park; Native Plant Team  came to visit Wayne National Forest and learn about fire monitoring data collection. Project leader, Tyler Lau,  and Corps Members Isaac Arndt,  Trevor Ellis,  and John Price,  joined both teams in the field assisting in data collection on the remaining plots in the Buckhorn burn area. All teams camped out at Lake Vesuvius  and enjoyed a group dinner followed by an evening around the campfire, guitar and all. It was a great opportunity to connect with another team and expand understanding of other SCA programs.
The team was also happy to welcome SCA Program Manager, Brian Doughty, to join them in the field. Our site visit with Brian went very well and the teams were very excited to show him their FIREMON skills.
An added bonus of the month came as red-carded team members were hired to fight fire at the Wayne and put their training to good use, on their off-time of course. Among various other assignments, members worked on hand crews digging line around the 12 acre Rock Hollow fire in the Ironton Ranger District.
Now that field work is complete, the team is resting up to wrap up the season writing their final report with some database management to boot!
Matt Cooper  : I am loving my job - spending my days in the woods learning about them, breathing fresh air, interacting with the Forest Service and hanging out with good friends. I have thoroughly enjoyed making close friends with my teammates and getting to know a new part of the country. I've also learned a ton of new skills, from botanical plant ID to wildland firefighting to Leave No Trace ethics. This internship has given me a fresh perspective on the kind of skills I am good at and the kind of opportunities I'd like to pursue in the future. I cannot imagine any other place or any other way I would rather have spent these six months.
Brett Murphy  : Our field season is coming to an end, and by now the team is a well oiled machine, and we are getting plots done quicker than we thought possible at the beginning. Wayne National Forest gave us the FFT2 Wildland Fire Fighter certification, and I really look forward to using it next summer on a fire crew out west! We have done some local traveling on our own time as well as some cultural events on SCA time that were super fun; tying us to the area with a sense of community and provided us some time out of the field to spend with some of our agency contacts.
David O'Donnell  : Well, this year has been great. Working in the Wayne has been really enjoyable; a nice set of woods and some decent weather lately. Our team works efficiently together and we all get along really well. We've all enjoyed our days off, taken trips to West Virginia, Canada, Chicago, and Virginia Beach. These days we're hanging around Ohio hoping some fires break out so we can put our red cards to use and make a few extra dollars. One field hitch left and then time to wrap up with the final report.
Calendar of Events 
- Upcoming Events: -
11/12 – End of The Season Banquet, 2:00pm at Della Zona  Come celebrate the wonderfully successful season for both the Athens and Ironton Fire Effects Monitoring Teams. Appetizers, Salad, and Pizza (including vegetarian options) will be provided. This event is open to SCA Members, USFS Employees, and their families. We chose Della Zona for this event because of their commitment to changing our food systems by using fresh ingredients from local farms!
- Past Events -
5/22 Community Pot Luck BBQ and Team Welcome Dinner 6 - 9 pm.
6/7 - 6/9 Trainings in: Local Fire Ecology, Field Sampling, Cultural Awareness, Radio Protocols, and Vegetation presented by Wayne National Forest (WNF).
6/22 The Hopewell Culture National Historical Park  provides an opportunity to learn about the people, plants, and animals that lived in Ohio in the past and in the present. Visitors can watch a 17-minute award winning film, browse the museum, and take a tour of the Mound City Group.
7/26 - 7/30 FFT2 (S130/S190) Red Card training with Wayne National Forest.
8/5 The Sierra Club: Tour of Sassafras Farm & Potluck Dinner  6 p.m.
Many have enjoyed the fresh greens and other vegetables that Ed Perkins has sold at the Athens Farmer’s Market  for years. Ed and his wife Amy Abercrombie, owners of Sassafras Farm,  hold true to the philosophy of living simply and working closely with the land. They retrieve their water from an outdoor pump, live in a quaint home that was once a barn, and sell their organic produce at the Athens Farmers Market. Here’s a chance to see how your food is grown and view Ed’s solar systems. Ed will discuss solar electric, solar hot water and cooling without AC.
8/18 – Screening of The WNF film; "The Forest Returns"  and discussion with: Loraine McCosker, Environmental Studies Outreach Coordinator at Ohio University and Sierra Club Member. 7:30pm The Forest Returns: The Success Story of Ohio's Only National Forest as told by Ora E. Anderson; a journalist living in Southeastern Ohio during the Great Depression. In this oral history, he recalls the environmental and social conditions that led to the establishment of the Wayne National Forest and our evolving relationship with the land. Along with historical photographs and emotionally evocative music by Bruce Dalzell, Ora Anderson's first-hand account gives life to a significant chapter of American history with clarity, hope, and a uniquely Appalachian perspective.
8/23 - Tecumseh! 
The Ultimate Outdoor Drama Experience. Witness the epic life story of the legendary Shawnee leader as he struggles to defend his sacred homelands in the Ohio country during the late 1700’s. “Tecumseh!” has been labeled as one of the most mesmerizing dramas in the nation.
9/6 Labor Day: Mid Season BBQ 12pm - 4pm
9/17-9/19 The 12th Annual Ohio Pawpaw Festival 
Join us at scenic Lake Snowden in Albany, Ohio for the 12th Annual Ohio Pawpaw Festival; a fun-filled and educational community event celebrating one of America’s largest native tree fruits, the Pawpaw (Asimina triloba). This three-day event highlights the rich history and future possibilities of the pawpaw through delectable foods, quality entertainment, unique arts, crafts and local businesses throughout southeastern Ohio and beyond. The Main Stage is host to some of the best musicians and performers in our region. A full line-up of presentations and activities cover pawpaw growing, cooking, genetics, medical use and sustainable living workshops.
10/3 - 10/4 – Leave No Trace (LNT) Trainer Course  is a vital component of the nationwide Leave No Trace program. It is a shortened version of the Master course. Participants receive introductory training in Leave No Trace skills and ethics in a condensed two-day format. The Trainer Course assists the student participants in learning more about the seven principles of Leave No Trace and techniques for disseminating these low impact skills.
10/5 Ohio University Fall Career & Internship Fair:  Baker University Center, 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Outreach opportunity to meet students and alumni sponsored by Career Services of OU. This single day event is open to for profit, non-profit, and government employers, as well as graduate and professional schools to gain exposure for their organization on campus and to the students, alumni and faculty of Ohio University.
10/18 – Tour of the The Vinton Experimental Forest  Ohio’s largest, last contiguous forested block still available for permanent protection. The Vinton Furnace Experimental Forest is one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems in the United States and home to more than 50 years of ongoing forest research. Vinton Furnace represents one of the most important forest research and demonstration sites east of the Mississippi River.
10/24 – Cross Training with the Cuyahoga Valley National Park Native Plant Team  The Team lead a cross training for the Cuyahoga Native Plant Team, showing them around Wayne National Forest, and provided them with a crash course in Fire Effect Monitoring. It was a lot of fun to show off our skills and to reconnect with our fellow SCA Members.
The Team hosted a booth at the Ohio University  Fall Career & Internship Fair on October 5th. Approximately 1,200 Ohio University Students attend the career & internship fair.
The Team answered students questions regarding our project in Wayne National Forest, opportunities with the SCA, and what it's like to be a Corps Member.
Our Teams were able to cut through a crowd of stiff suits like a hot knife through butter and brought a little life to the fair with our "truly casual dress". It was impossible for our table to go unnoticed with prime real estate directly by the front door. One recruiter even told us, "how happy she was to see us there, we made the room feel so much more relaxed and inviting."
Our poster should have read: 'Take OFF that Tie! Come work for the SCA!'
Trainer courses are tailored for educators, guides, agency employees, and other outdoor professionals. Successful graduates of the Trainer Course gain the skills to teach Leave No Trace  techniques and ethics to their clients, friends and family.
The Teams have learned the concepts of Leave No Trace and are now prepared to teach the Leave No Trace curriculum in a variety of settings-schools, camps, parks, wilderness and front country areas. Workshop topics included the underlying ethics and seven principles of Leave No Trace:
Other topics included: History of Leave No Trace, Principles of Education, Wildland Ethics, & " “Authority of the Resource”  ".
Through focused activities, hands-on field experience and both formal and informal discussions, the teams advanced their knowledge of Leave No Trace issues, expanded their repertoire of low-impact skills, and learned skills that will increase effectiveness in teaching these important skills to others.
This was a fun course where all participants had a part in demonstrating the choices that can be made to minimize our impact on the land and our resources. All members are now registered as Leave No Trace Trainers with the national Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics and have received a certificate of course completion as well as their Leave No Trace Trainer lapel pin.
Also, see our Attached: Course Syllabus & “Authority of the Resource” article.
Fall is officially here and the month of September has been very busy for us. To date, both Teams combined, have completed 166 FIREMON Plots in Wayne National Forest. Currently, we only have two “field” hitches left and only 48 plots remain to be re-measured.
All members of the Ironton Team are now certified as Wildland Fire Fighters after completing the Arduous Pack Test; carrying 45 Lbs., three (3) miles, in under 45 minutes.
In September, we also attended the The 12th Annual Ohio Pawpaw Festival  . Some of the Team even volunteered their time to help out with the event. We all enjoyed the much needed break, got to sample some of the local culture, live music, and had a good time enjoying some of the many workshops including: building wooden boats, spinning wool, atlatl throwing, tai chi, yoga, and a a medicinal plant walk.
Both teams are currently preparing for our Leave No Trace (LNT) Trainer Course  , this weekend, on October 3rd & 4th. The Team will receive “introductory training in Leave No Trace skills and ethics in a condensed two-day format. The Trainer Course assists the student participants in learning more about the seven principles of Leave No Trace and techniques for disseminating these low impact skills.” Upon completion, Trainers are qualified to lead their own LNT Awareness Workshops.
Also coming up on Tuesday, October 5th, is the Ohio University Fall Career & Internship Fair:  at the Baker University Center, 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.. If you’re in the area come on by. The Team will be hosting a table at the event and be available to answer any questions about the SCA or regarding our project here in Wayne National Forest.
Click here to see our: Calendar of Events  .
Also, see the Attached: Field Update below:
What follows is the tale of five young men in a dastardly struggle to understand the wildlands in some of Ohio’s most southernly regions. Bearing down on the stand off between native and non-native invasive, these men readily take action. Some would call them idealists, others call them Hero, one thing is clear: When history has passed and all that we know has come to fade away, the deep green hills of Wayne National Forest will stand eclipsed under the shadow of these giants among men. This is their story:
The weather is now very pleasant. The temperatures are beginning to drop and spirits have started to rise. We are extremely excited for fall and are tremendously grateful for the break in the record high temperatures. Some of the leaves have already begun to change color, and we are all very excited to witness the immense beauty of the forest in the autumn.
The Team has now become FIREMON experts! We are able to spot the common non-native invasive species from over 100 yards away. The much too common invasive species include Multiflora Rose, Japanese Stilt Grass, Japanese Honeysuckle, Tree of Heaven, and the Princess Tree. Wayne National Forest is very impressed with our work so far, and we have truly set the standard for all future FIREMON work in The Wayne. Now, quite familiar with the area and our work, we are no longer bogged down with logistics and learning the various aspects of our jobs, and the team is now able to cruise through plots with ease. It is our goal to increase our daily average from 2 plots per day, to 3 plots per day to allow time to take some immediate post-burn re-measurements and possibly monument a few new plots.
The Athens Team has finished their work in the Athens District and has begun to support us with our work in the Ironton District. We are exceptionally grateful for all of their help. Currently, with assistance from the Athens Team, we have been able to visit over 70 plots in the Ironton District and approximately 83 plots remain to be re-measured. See the attached map to view our completed plots.
The bulk of our work has been in the Pine Creek burn unit, which is now nearing completion. Next hitch we will be focusing our efforts in the recently burned area of Buckhorn. We are extremely excited to have Pine Creek behind us. The Pine Creek area has not yet been treated and as a result is extremely overgrown. The brambles and briers of Smilax, Rubus, and Multifora Rose can be extremely fierce in these unburned areas, making travel tremendously difficult. Now that we have almost finished with Pine Creek, the difficult work is now behind us and the remainder of the season should become increasingly pleasant.
Highlights this month included a screening of "The Forest Returns"  with Environmental Studies Outreach Coordinator at Ohio University and Sierra Club member, Lorraine McCosker. It was engaging to learn more about the history of the Wayne National Forest and the varying views regarding its management policies. We are very grateful to Lorraine for inviting us into her home, and we look forward to seeing her again in the near future.
All team members also enjoyed the live outdoor drama, "Tecumseh!"  in Chillicothe, Ohio. The show portrays the epic life story of the legendary Shawnee leader as he struggles to defend his sacred homelands in the Ohio country during the late 1700’s. The historic portrayal was certainly enhanced by the outdoor setting under a nearly full moon.
We are very grateful to WNF Public Affairs Officer, Gary Chancey, for taking the time to snap some great photos of the teams in action. See the photos below, courtesy of Gary and Wayne National Forest. Photos can also be viewed on Flickr: Wayne National Forest Recovery Act Projects  . Gary has also been in the process of interviewing members and editing a Podcast, which we hope will be released shortly. So stay tuned!
On our time off, we plot and scheme amongst ourselves to figure out where we want to go, if one of us knows someone that lives there, and what we can all do there for fun. So far the team has done North America’s tallest bungee jump in Ottawa, Canada; canoed in Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario; relaxed at Virginia Beach, Virginia; traipsed around cities such as Toronto, Chicago, and Pittsburgh; climbed and hiked in the New River Gorge, West Virginia; and more. Upcoming trips might include the Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia; visiting theme parks in Orlando, Florida; caving in Blacksburg, Virginia; and maybe even an international trip to finish up the season if we can find a cheap flight.
Click here to see our: Calendar of Events  . Soon is our Firefighter Pack Test, the final and arduous step in becoming a Wildlife Fire Fighter. Each of us must be able to carry a 45 pound pack, over three miles, in fewer than 45 minuets. Also coming up in September is the The 12th Annual Ohio Pawpaw Festival  … and of course more plots!
All photos below were taken by Photographer: Gary Chancey, Public Affairs Officer, Wayne National Forest. Thank you Gary!
Upon completion of training with our Agency Partners in Wayne National Forest including topics such as: Local Fire Ecology, Local Field Sampling, Cultural Awareness, and USFS Radio Use Protocols, the team took time to get organized prior to hitting the field.
As fieldwork is in the begining stretches, it has been important to work through the first several plots slowly to insure quality data collection. Brett and Matt have done an amazing job identifying plants as Brian and David embrace tree identification and measurements.
The team completed remeaurements on 3 FIREMON plots -- 2 in the Buckhorn burn area and 1 in the Pine Creek burn area. The next several months will keep the team occupied primarily in the Pine Creek burn area of the Ironton District. With temperatures rising and the bugs out in full-force, spirits remain high as we delve into the task at hand.
Cultural days have included visits to Hocking Hills State Park and the Hopewell Culture National Historical Park:
Highlights for July include FFT2 Red Card training! Keep tracking our progress here, or stop by for a site visit and help us count some trees.
The Heat is On! 
The temperatures are continuing to rise. With a heat index around 105 degrees The Team has learned to embrace the benefits of early mornings. Everyone is becoming increasing comfortable with all aspects of FIREMON and the pace of completing plots has picked up, averaging 2 plots per day.
We are finding the forest in Ironton to be quite peaceful. Coming across new species is also exciting as in the instance of ginseng (only to be picked in the fall with a permit) and a giant Cucumber Magnolia tree, measured at approximately 135 ft tall.
Earning a much needed break, the corps members headed north to escape the heat and soak in the amazing scenery of Canada. A great time was had by all including a stop at Niagra Falls, relaxing and canoeing at Algonquin Provincial Park, and for the some, a 200 foot bungee!! All members have returned safely and are currently participating in the FFT2 Red Card training and are becoming certified Wildland Firefighters!
The Team has returned from corps member training at the McCall Outdoor Science School (MOSS) in McCall, ID. Trainings included: Wilderness First Aid (WFA), SCA's: Mission / Program Overview / Risk Management Protocols, Conservation Ethics, Fire Ecology, Tree Measurements, Plant Identification, Navigation, GPS, FIREMON & FFI Database.
The Team is now enjoying some much needed time off and preparing for more training, this time with our Agency Partners, in Wayne National Forest. Topics on the schedule include: Local Fire Ecology, Local Field Sampling Techniques, Vegetation, Cultural Awareness, and USFS Radio Protocols.
This is my second season serving with the SCA. Last season I served as a FIREMON Individual Placement in the Great Plains Region. I went to Metropolitan State College of Denver and received a degree in Anthropology with course work in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). I look forward to this opportunity with the SCA to learn more about land management, fire ecology, and the US Forest Service. When I’m not counting trees in the forest, you might find me climbing in West Virginia.
Having worked with the SCA in Tucson, Arizona last summer on an invasive species treatment program, I've decided to return this season for another Americorps position. I think the work the SCA does throughout the nation is important in fostering a tradition of environmental stewardship among America's youth. It is with great pleasure that I commit myself to serving and learning more about the local environment by working with upstanding individuals with whom I share many common interests and core values.
I hold a Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography from the University of Missouri and hope to employ myself in the fields of conservation or outdoor recreation in the future. I find the experiences that can be provided by the SCA and Americorps to be unmatched in terms of their value in building my future and enriching my life. I look forward to living and working with the great team we have here in Ohio this summer and fall.
This is my first experience serving with the SCA, but is not my first time living far from what I know. I have taken opportunities to live and work in various places across the country in order to experience local cultures and landscapes. This year I look forward to gaining experience in a potential career field and a new place.
As a recent graduate in Geography and GIS, I am looking for direction and am hoping this experience will help illuminate my path to the next step in life. In the meantime, I enjoy many activities across the wide spectrum of outdoor recreation.
I have always loved the outdoors and the environment, participating in the Boy Scouts in High School and later in my Universities' outdoor club. Naturally, I decided to pursue an internship that will allow me to work in the outdoors, for the preservation of the environment. I am excited for the opportunities that the position will afford me. I am hoping to pursue this type of forestry work in the future through the Peace Corps.