Apalachicola Regional Stewardship Alliance (ARSA)
ARSA Welcomes a New Student Conservation Association Crew
By Brian Pelc, The Nature Conservancy
At the start of the new year, The Nature Conservancy’s North Florida staff met their new Student Conservation Association (SCA) fire interns and crew mentors at the Osceola National Forest. During the 3-day meeting, staff assisted with S-212 evaluations and assisted with an S-130 field day. The fire interns are from various Job Corps programs in the Southeast which partnered with the SCA, who was responsible for recruiting the interns and mentors. The mentors have two to three years of experience in fire and natural resources and also live on-site with the interns, making sure they have the greatest chance of success during the internship. The role of ARSA (Apalachicola Regional Stewardship Alliance) and other LITs in this partnership is to provide the knowledge, experience, and skill that one would need to become a successful Rx fire practitioner and land steward. ARSA is one of six locations across the range, hosting one veteran crew and five underserved youth crews spread out over the Southeast. This program is primarily funded through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and U.S. Forest Service. In ARSA, we are using this internship to not only educate young adults about the importance of our work and role in nature, but also to connect people and nature. Our expectations for the interns are to leave North Florida understanding the importance that people play in the maintenance and restoration of natural resources through sound Rx fire and land management.
Image 1: SCA intern Aaron Kellihan at a partner burn at the St. Joe Bay Buffer Preserve, a state-owned property. The Crew is based at the Conservancy’s Apalachicola Bluffs and Ravines Preserve and is available for assistance across the ARSA region. Photo by Charles Oliver.