Michaela Hall, a workforce program specialist for the U.S. Forest Service, leads an educational activity to explain how important the sun is to plant life during a National Get Outdoors Day Event held in Washington, D.C. (U.S. Forest Service photo/Victor Fowler)
The Millennial Train Project involves transcontinental train journeys for diverse groups of young innovators to explore America's new frontiers. (Courtesy Millennial Trains Project. Used with permission)
Of all the places I expected to have a life-changing experience, I would never have guessed it would involve a moving train on a transcontinental journey with other young professional millennials.
But somewhere between Whitefish, Montana, and St. Paul, Minnesota, I realized that this journey would transform my outlook as a public servant. Read more »
A new foot bridge near the tribal village of Angoon on Admiralty Island National Monument is part of a Tongass National Forest and Youth Conservation Corps partnership. From left, Tribal Liaison Donald Frank, Angoon Trail Crew Leader Aaron McCluskey, Youth Conservation Corps member Roger Williams, also an Angoon tribal member, and Admiralty Island National Monument Ranger Chad VanOrmer pause work to celebrate the bridge’s construction and the agency’s successful Corps partnership with the Angoon Tribe. (U.S. Forest Service/Jeff Miller)
Moss and lichen grew fast on this Tongass National Forest recently built foot bridge due to the unique conditions of Southeast Alaska’s temperate rainforest. Here, the annual rainfall is measured in feet instead of inches. Some places get more than 15 feet a year. (U.S. Forest Service/Jeff Miller)
On a boggy section of single-track trail outside the Southeast Alaska tribal community of Angoon, two men are building a bridge on Admiralty Island National Monument that does much more than simply cross 10 yards of boot-eating muck. This unassuming wooden span is connecting generations, cultures and governments while symbolizing a shared path forward for the Tongass National Forest and Southeast Alaska communities.
The bridge and trail are a vital link in the Cross Admiralty Canoe Route, a 32-mile series of lakes and trail portages that allows backcountry canoeists, kayakers and others to traverse the island. But while the Civilian Conservation Corps established the modern route in the 1930s, the path it follows was not news to the island’s residents, according to Donald Frank, tribal liaison for the national monument. Read more »
A crew of wildland firefighters begins their trek into a fire. Their specialty is wildfire suppression, but they sometimes perform other work, including search and rescue and disaster response assistance. (U.S. Forest Service)
Morman Lake Hotshots check gear at a base camp. The backbone of U.S. Forest Service firefighting is the thousands of boots-on-the-ground men and women. (U.S. Forest Service)
It takes a certain type of person to fight wildfires. It’s not what they look like. Or sound like. It’s not their heritage or their culture. It’s their heart.
A seven-minute U.S. Forest Service recruitment video, “The Heart of a Firefighter,” takes viewers as close to being as firefighter as possible through a small screen. Read more »
In their Wounded Knee, South Dakota home, Walter Littlemoon looks at the book his wife, Jane Ridgway, helped him write over the course of four years. “Something was wrong with me, and I couldn’t function like what I thought a human being should.” The words he used to describe his problem became the title of a documentary. “I didn’t know the medical words. So I called the problem what I knew it to be: the thick dark fog.” (Used with permission/Kahlil Hudson/Image courtesy of Vision Maker Media. © 2012 High Valley Films)
Documentary filmmaker Jonathan Skurnik listens to Walter Littlemoon at Walter's house in Wounded Knee, South Dakota. Littlemoon is the focus of “The Thick Dark Fog,” which are the words he used to describe memories he blocked of years about the abuse he received in a federal Indian boarding school. (Used with permission /Kahlil Hudson/Image courtesy of Vision Maker Media. © 2012 High Valley Films)
Unfortunately, in the 19th and 20th centuries, the government often actively suppressed Indian culture by banning certain spiritual practices on reservations. It was only in 1978, with the passage of the American Indian Religious Freedom Act, that the government formally established a policy to protect Native American Sacred Sites and traditional forms of worship.
In federal Indian schools, children were often not allowed to be Indians – to express their Native culture or identity in any way was to risk being severely humiliated or abused. Many Native Americans lived with this trauma well into adulthood. More than 100,000 Native American students attended these schools from 1879 to the present. Although a few of the schools still exist, attendance is no longer mandatory.
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Boxelder Job Corps certified culinary essentials educator, Dave Levesque, center, works with culinary arts students, Trevor Robertus, left, Mathew McGirr and Duanna Martin, right, as they create cherry puffs with chocolate sauce on June 1. Levesque was chosen as Chef of the Year for the American Culinary Federation's South Dakota Chapter. (Rapid City Journal Photo/ Tim Appel)
For the past eight years, students in the Boxelder Job Corps Center culinary arts program have benefited from chef Dave Levesque’s wide-ranging cooking experiences.
Located in the Black Hills National Forest near Nemo, the Boxelder Job Corps Center has 24 students in its culinary arts curriculum, which is one of 10 different trades taught at the school. Read more »
Dead Tamaligi trees with recovering native forest in the National Park of American Samoa. Photo credit: Tavita Togia, National Park of American Samoa.
Removal of destructive invasive trees is an ongoing challenge for the U.S. Forest Service. What folks might not realize is that this challenge of protecting native forests extends all the way to the South Pacific. Read more »