Forestry and Natural Resources Program

Written by Seth Connolly

Students from the Forestry and Natural Resources program at Columbia College have been an invaluable component of our Rim Fire recovery efforts in the Upper Tuolumne watershed over the past five years. Serving with the Trust through summer internships, fellowships, and seasonal positions, these students have played an essential role in helping to develop our programs and leading our efforts in the field.

Columbia College students come from diverse backgrounds, but all share a passion for healthy forests and the technical skills to carry out a wide variety of restoration projects that we perform throughout the year in partnership with the Stanislaus National Forest. In addition to helping us to recruit and manage volunteers for our tree planting and trail restoration service events, they have worked closely with contractors and Forest Service staff to ensure that our meadow restoration projects are performed according to professional standards.

Several of the students who have worked with the Trust have since gone on to continue their studies as they pursue careers in various environmental fields. Military veterans are well-represented in the Forestry and Natural Resources program at Columbia College, and the Trust is proud to have played a role in helping two combat veterans build the skills and experience necessary to land permanent positions with National Forests here in California. In addition to their wealth of forestry knowledge and skills working in the field, these students have collectively embodied a strong work ethic and character that helps to serve as the backbone for our programs in the Upper Tuolumne watershed. We are grateful for all of their hard work and look forward to seeing them continue to grow into future leaders in the stewardship of our forests and watersheds.