- (Focus Area) Natural Resources
- Author: Donovan Hill
- Author: Kathleen Mowdy
Disturbance. In ecological terms, when a wildfire rages across wild lands, there is a disturbance - a change in the environmental conditions that disrupts the functioning of an ecosystem. The process by which an ecosystem changes over time following a disruption is known as ecological succession, and it takes a very long time. Too long.
Last year, I wrote an article about our fire recovery efforts in Butte County. We worked hard and accomplished a lot in three fire zones, but restoration is not “one and done.” It takes persistence. Many of the “wildlings” (small wild seedlings) that we transplanted in the Ponderosa Fire zone did not survive the hot summer months. We knew we would need to go back the following spring and plant again, and we were determined.
Then, in November 2018, the Camp Fire raged through 153,000 acres in Butte County. After the most destructive wildfire in California history, it is hard not to feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of recovery work, knowing it would be a long time before the Camp Fire zone would even be ready for replanting. But we had our plan to follow up on our work in the Ponderosa Fire zone. This time, we had fir, pine and cedar seedlings donated by Sierra Pacific Industries (SPI). We knew these seedlings would have a better chance of survival.
Two foresters from SPI delivered the seedlings, provided instruction on optimal planting techniques, and worked with our crews. Many Feather Falls residents also helped with the planting, including members of the Concow-Maidu of Mooretown Rancheria, whose lands were burned in the Ponderosa Fire.
After the planting was completed, we gathered for a tasty picnic lunch provided by Mooretown Rancheria. Everyone enjoyed the beautiful spring weather and feeling of accomplishment.
Since we completed the planting, we have had frequent rain that will give the seedlings a good chance to survive. Building on this success, Oroville Foothill 4-H Fire Recovery Project is already making plans for next year. We hope to arrange for donations of fruit, nut, and ornamental trees for the families who are rebuilding in the Camp Fire communities of Paradise, Magalia, Concow, and Pulga.
As we wrap up our Fire Recovery Project this year and enter another fire season, we are hoping there will be no more “disturbances” to our wild lands. But we will be here with the help of our community, persisting in the best kind of collaboration - caring for our world!
- Author: Sandra Derby
- Explore current issues
- Investigate as a forester
- Engage in field studies
These sessions will inspire you to create your own version of Project Learning Tree that will enhance the unique adventures of 4-H summer camp.
Building on the support of the American Forest Foundation, UC Cooperative Extension, and CA Project Learning Tree, we are working together to introduce and integrate PLT ideas and activities into 4-H Programs. Our goal is to integrate forest ecology and field skills into the amazing experience of summer camps all over California.
Sign up for one, two, or all three sessions
Participants in each session will receive an activity folder with ideas and resource materials.
If you attend all three sessions, you will receive a free K-8 Project Learning Tree Guide with over 90 activities.
PLT Session I: California Naturalist
Participants will explore the amazing forest environment through Project Learning Tree activities and learn strategies to integrate naturalist explorations into the 4-H Camp experience. Some favorite activities we will engage in…Looking at Leaves, The Fallen Log, Every Tree for Itself….and make a clay leaf print to take home!
Being a Naturalist/ nature journaling/ leaf prints:
- Looking at Leaves
- Fallen Log
- Every Tree for Itself
PLT Session II: Forest Steward
Participants will learn how to take action as citizen stewards. Hike into the forest and observe what makes this environment so uniquely essential for a healthy California. Learn how to map a field study area using basic tools and design a field investigation through inquiry study. And learn what opportunities are out there to connect with community efforts, engage in studies with researchers, and initiate action in your own 4-H Camps and local communities.
Working the tools/ actions for Citizen Science and Stewardship:
- Trees As Habitats
- Soil Stories
- How Big is Your Tree
PLT Session III: Forestry Challenge!
Participants will be engaged in several forestry investigations to understand how foresters manage and ensure healthy forests. Each investigation will lead to team work, exploration, and ultimately the Forestry Challenge! We will show you how to design an exciting and fun challenge for your camp program!
Challenge your skills and knowledge:
- How Big is Your Tree II
- Trees in Trouble
- Living with Fire
Developed by the PLT Camp Program Development Committee
The PLT Camp Program Development Committee is responsible for the design, development and delivery of enhanced Project Learning Tree training and materials in 4-H Camp programming. Their goal is the integration of selected PLT field based activities, focused on the ecology of CA forests, into existing camp programs resulting in strengthened environmental based learning for camp participants.
Sign up for the California 4-H Camping Conference!
2018 California 4-H Camping Conference
April 6 - 8, 2018
Redwood Glen Camp
100 Wright Drive, Loma Mar, CA 94021
The 2018 California 4-H Camping Conference brings together the adults and teen leaders who help plan and administer camping programs across California in a weekend of hands-on training, networking, and learning experiences.
The California 4-H Camping Conference is held every other year. Don't miss this great learning opportunity to make the best camps better!
*You do not have to be part of a 4-H Camp to participate. Please contact Marianne Bird at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are not a current 4-H member or volunteer.