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Southeast Conservation Corps


"The most powerful and unpredictable of elemental forces"

March 16, 2021 | I joined the Pinhoti veteran crew at the beginning of the month. In that time I have gone from a wage worker living outside of DC who had an interest in the outdoors. To building, monitoring and taking active measures to contain one of the most powerful and unpredictable of elemental forces.

This month we had our first hitch in Florida. We participated in several prescribed burns that covered 1000s of acres. I got to see firsthand the vital role prescribed burns pose in the Florida ecosystem. Prescribed burns limit the amount of surface fuels which vastly lowers the intensity of wildfires. It also helps protect the Longleaf Pine forests which serve as habitats for many species such as the Red-cockaded Woodpecker.

What I enjoy most is being part of a crew that is working toward a common goal while still looking out for each other. This is something that I did not see much in the private sector and it was one of the things I missed most from my time in the Marine Corps. The work is hard but you get to see firsthand the effects of your work and how much it impacts an area. To me, it is very rewarding but that being said it is not for everyone.

Esteban Hughell

Crew #977