Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Mount Rainier Recovery Initiative to offer new programs for volunteers

NPS/SCA LogosSeattle, Washington, February 13, 2008 – The Student Conservation Association’s (SCA) Mount Rainier Recovery Initiative had a very successful first year in 2007 and is now planning for 2008.

Following devastating floods in November 2006, “SCA responded by fielding 80 diverse young people in the park this summer to help rebuild washed-out trails, repair damaged campgrounds, restore vulnerable habitats, and supervise over 700 volunteers,” said Congressman Norm Dicks.

“Congratulations to SCA for its long legacy of public land conservation and, in particular, for the outstanding support in the recovery of Mount Rainier National Park.”

This year’s goal is to continue engaging as many public volunteers as possible, emphasizing groups, youth groups, organizations, and returning individuals. Program Director Jill Baum and Mount Rainier National Park Volunteer Program Manager Kevin Bacher will guide this process.

SCA will offer wilderness and project management training sessions beginning in mid-May to park staff and interested community volunteers, with an emphasis on public training opportunities in July and August. Training will include risk management, Wilderness First Aid/CPR, Wilderness First Responder (through SCA’s partner Aerie School of Backcountry Medicine), volunteer management (through NPS), team building, Meadow Rover orientation, Leave No Trace, search and rescue procedures, natural and cultural history, and, of course, traditional conservation work skills.

“The National Park Service has had a long-standing partnership with the Student Conservation Association and we are excited to offer our volunteers some new training opportunities,” said Mount Rainier National Park Superintendent Dave Uberuaga.

“Getting back to work again this year is an exciting prospect,” said Jay A. Satz, Regional Vice President for SCA. “There are plenty of opportunities to get needed conservation work done on the ground but also to offer volunteers a way to become even more engaged with their public lands, including becoming trainers themselves and advocating on behalf of our treasured national parks.”

Beginning in May, SCA will place 4 - 6 volunteers directly into key park programs. They will coordinate and lead volunteer projects in the areas of trail construction, meadow restoration, greenhouse management, interpretation, natural resource monitoring, cultural resource restoration, and maintenance.

Other SCA corps members will serve as a “response team” and will lead public volunteers and assist the staff of the park. SCA will again field high school teams, especially through the Seattle urban high school program, as well as Conservation Interns.

The park and SCA are also looking forward to working side by side again with members of the Northwest Storm Recovery Coalition, including the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), Washington Trails Association (WTA) and Washington’s National Park Fund in support of year two of the Mount Rainier Recovery Initiative.

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About SCA
The Student Conservation Association (SCA) is a nationwide conservation force of college and high school volunteers who protect and restore America’s parks, forests, and other public lands. For more than 50 years, SCA’s active, hands-on approach to conservation has helped to develop a new generation of conservation leaders, inspire lifelong stewardship, and save our planet.

For more information, visit:

For more information about the volunteer program at Mount Rainier National Park, go to: or

For more information on the NW Parks and Public Lands Storm Recovery Coalition and the member organizations, go to:


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