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A ‘Wild’ Experience with the Forest Service

With the increased use of electronic devices and scheduled activities competing for children’s outdoor time, how can we strike a balance?

There’s still hope by encouraging kids to get outdoors and to experience wild things.

In March, the Klamath National Forest and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Yreka Field Office joined forces with an interactive wildlife education booth at the annual Siskiyou County Sportsmen’s Expo in Yreka, Calif.

The booth featured hands-on activities for children including skins, skulls, tracks and scat of local mammals, as well as interpretive handouts about habitat and species management.

Youth learn about the characteristics of various wildlife species from acting Public Affairs Officer Jennifer Velez. (US Forest Service photo/Sam Cuenca)

Youth learn about the characteristics of various wildlife species from acting Public Affairs Officer Jennifer Velez. (US Forest Service photo/Sam Cuenca)

“The goal of this type of outreach is to instill a sense of excitement for the species diversity of our area and to encourage people to make time to get outside and see the wonders of our Klamath Mountains,” said Sam Cuenca, Fish and Wildlife biologist.

This popular, two-day event featured all things related to outdoor recreation and drew 3,100 visitors this year.

Kids were also able to experience a rock climbing wall, a fish pond, an archery range, and an antler scoring competition.

In addition to visitors experiencing the “wild,” the Klamath National Forest also hosted a wildfire prevention booth.

The Forest Service’s Nature Watch program and Fish and Wildlife’s Connecting People with Nature program have similar goals to provide people of all ages an opportunity to develop an appreciation for the natural world.

Fire prevention specialist Jennifer Bray and firefighter apprentice Jesus Zepeda share important wildfire safety reminders. (US Forest Service photo/ Jennifer Velez)

Fire prevention specialist Jennifer Bray and firefighter apprentice Jesus Zepeda share important wildfire safety reminders. (US Forest Service photo/ Jennifer Velez)

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