09 August 2023

Conservation Education Resource Assistance

Written by: Alondra Gomez

La Tierra y El Agua Que Me Hicieron (The Land and The Water That Made Me)

I was born and raised in South Lake Tahoe in 1999. My parents immigrated from Mexico to Lake Tahoe in the early 90's. My mountains are Mount Tallac and Freel Peak. My waters are Lake Tahoe, Taylor Creek, and the Upper Truckee Marsh. When we think about the land we are from, the interconnectivity between different ecosystems is rooted deep.

Since I was little, I was always curious about the natural world. I have never felt more connected to any land than I do in my hometown. I am fortunate enough to call Lake Tahoe home. A place that requires both admiration and preservation. I grew up in a white-dominated community, and I had no accessibility to the outdoors. As time went on, my love for Nature grew stronger. I joined Generation Green in 2017 and everything changed from there on. I believe my connection to the Resource Assistance Program and my site; the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit is the ability to represent systematically oppressed groups and individuals that exist in Lake Tahoe. The vision of the Forest Service in terms of service is to help young stewards and adults have access, equity, and promote diversity within our public lands. Working in Conservation Education, one of my goals is to engage and encourage youth in underrepresented communities and create a powerful dialogue about diversifying our forests, while making the outdoors accessible to all. I'm excited to learn how to interpret the land I grew up in, be of service, fight against adversity, and create impactful curriculums about the many natural forces that make up the Lake Tahoe Basin. 

Since starting the Resource Assistance Program, my professional growth has revolved around creating a more well-rounded network with various intel within the conservation world. Some other professional growth would be public speaking, feeling more confident, being proud of where I come from, and my ability to produce intentional work with different people at my work site. My personal growth has been finding my own voice again and feeling inspired by all the hard-working people I get to work with every day. I've been lucky enough to be a part of and work alongside the Blue Waters Exchange Program to learn about the conservation challenges and efforts between California and Hawaii. My first week at my site, I and the Blue Waters cohort had the opportunity to engage with the Washoe Tribe of Lake Tahoe. We all gathered playing tribal games, eating cultural foods, singing songs, and telling stories. The latest work going on in our community has been the Taylor-Tallac Aquatic Invasive Restoration Project, waste mitigation, water management, managing heavy recreation use, and fire management to minimize the impact of wildfires within our basin.

I used to feel hopeless about our future and the environment, but I know the work towards a more just future is for everyone. The fight for a sustainable and inclusive world will take the strength and power of all of us. By being able to work for the U.S Forest Service and the Hispanic Access Foundation, I have begun to see a different light within myself and the significant work I am a part of. 


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Hispanic Access Foundation connects Latinos and others with partners and opportunities to improve lives and create an equitable society.

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