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Southeast Conservation Corps

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Backcountry Campsite Surveys in the Conasauga

There was supposed to be rain, and the skies often spoke so, but no water fell. Our task this week was to survey campsites, and not just survey campsites, but to learn how to do it. We were given an Ipad and a program. Certainly, much instruction from our friends from the forest service, but you know how it goes, learning is hands on, you have to do it to understand. We went on, campsite to campsite; we were trying to give the sense that this place, these wildlands, were just that, and we wanted the campsites to reflect that. Reductions in the size of the fire pit and trying to minimize the impacts of the site on the flora and fauna that lives there unimposingly — people sometimes don’t seem to notice. The little plant that sits underneath your shoe, that’s important, maybe a bug, or even a mushroom, lives with that plant, and now he can’t go so far as to make friends. He wants to be there, much like you, and we have to share our home gracefully, as that plant often can’t speak for himself. It wasn’t hard to enter the data, and the integration of technology with conservation, and the contrast of those two together in front of me, was nice. It feels nice to know your work is making a difference, and that’s all I want to do.

Tyler Esters

Crew #972, Conasauga Strike Team

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