Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Bark, it Beckons

     Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area is home to a wide variety of recreational opportunities for visitors. One of the newest examples of activity that happens within the recreation area would be a day camp for young children. I had the chance to perform a “spot check” on this organization to make sure their leaders remain in compliance with the rules and regulations necessary to preserve the resources.
     At first, the group leader had mentioned their use of bark for an art project. Hearing the word, bark, immediately captured my attention as myself and a ranger followed up with the group leader to find out two things. First, where did he get the bark from? Secondly, how did he obtain it? Did the children rip the bark off of the tree or was it found on the ground?
 
My first thought, “No! Not the Bark! Not the trees’ protection!”
 
     This ended up being a teachable moment for the group as we talked about how the art project could have become a problem if they had in fact taken the bark from the fragile trees. Luckily, they had found the bark on the ground in an area where it was not a problem and the conflict was quickly resolved.
 
     The other call out of the week involves a widely loved part of the job, inventory! I assisted the Law Enforcement Specialist in doing the inventory of weapons. A Majority of the weapons were used in the past by the law enforcement rangers before they decided to move on to new and different models. It was a fun snapshot into what the rangers used to carry. This really got me thinking about how I am going to be beginning my career in the National Park Service and what sort of changes will come about in terms of weaponry, technology, and systems. Change is bound to happen and remaining resilient will be important to move with the ebbs and flow.

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