The coronavirus outbreak has brought hardship and heartbreak to many, and we hope you have been spared the worst.
At SCA in recent weeks, we have suspended some service programs, delayed others, and provided support for volunteers who remain in the field, where their relative remoteness now yields additional advantages. And, with so many programs paused, today we furloughed many of our colleagues, some for up to 60 days.
All this was unimaginable just a season ago. So let us imagine a season from now.
When this pandemic passes, America’s public lands will be in dire need of help. As Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, and other parks close, trail and maintenance needs fall further behind already historically high levels. As visitors make unauthorized excursions into these parks, news reports cite extensive damage to habitats and other resources as well as mountains of trash.
Additionally, once extended shelter-in-place directives are lifted, millions of people will be free to seek the strength and solace of nature. The situation may well mirror that of six decades ago, when overwhelmed parks were in danger of being “loved to death” by the burgeoning flow of visitors.
Back then, Liz Putnam’s call to service not only helped rescue our parks, it launched a movement. And soon, the young women and men of SCA will again be called to protect and restore our nation’s natural treasures.
So, we say now to all those who cherish our most inspirational outdoor assets, your support of SCA is more vital than ever before. To our resource management partners, we vow to expand our stewardship deployments as soon as conditions permit. And to the young people eager to safeguard America’s extraordinary national heritage, we offer our gratitude and ask your patience. Your day is on the way.
Finally, we thank all who have sent us their warmest wishes and encouragement during this challenging time. We hope you are well and your spirits are high. We are all in this together, and that’s how we shall remain.