10 April 2024

9 Months In!

Written by: Jasmine De Casas

I am now 9 months into my RAship, and I have learned necessary skills to further advance my career in the U.S. Forest Service. I have been currently working on our forests OHV grant and learning more about the grants and agreements process has been interesting!

Mendocino National Forest heavily relies on recreation such as camping, hiking, and especially the use of OHVs. Quite a few of Forest Service employees directly focus on maintaining our OHV trails and campgrounds. Growing up, I had access to various OHVs such as quads, ATVs, UTVs, and motorcycles. I was eager to be apart of a training for UTVs and even receive certification, which I can then use to become a UTV trainer! Having access to take part in various trainings has been such a rewarding experience.

I was also able to be apart of chainsaw training with our Cal-Fire Konocti crew. I’ve used hedge trimmers and big shears, so I went into the training semi-confident. Although, I was a bit nervous considering I was the only woman. I’ve always had an interest in fire so to be able to hear the stories for the fire crews was intriguing. Using a chainsaw was not easy in the slightest but learning about the proper ways to cut and trim trees was definitely new to me, I didn’t realize how much thought and precision go into it. There is so much full body strength that goes into cutting trees, I didn’t realize how different parts of my body would be sore the next day. I was able to learn how to maneuver the chainsaw when it gets pinched in a bend, although you do have to use an axe! Overall, I am grateful that this position allows for flexibility in terms of what trainings I am able to participate in. I am hopeful that having various trainings will make my resume more appealing thus leading to a career in the USFS where I am able to use my knowledge and gain more!

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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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