Boulder Creek, CA — Thirteen students from Littlerock High School participated in the 2018 Santa Cruz Forestry Challenge. The challenge is an academic event for high school students in technical forestry and current forestry topics. The event was comprised of a total of 69 high school students from seven schools in the Santa Cruz and central California region.
Participants spend four days in the forest learning about the ecology and management of the forested landscapes that provide communities with water, recreational opportunities, wood products, and wildlife habitat. The Forestry Challenge organization believe, "Youth benefit by better understanding the relationship of the forested environment to their community, by exposure to natural resource management as a potential career option, and by undertaking a rigorous critical thinking exercise which is timely and addresses current forestry topics such as wildfire, insects, and forest health." The event was October 10th through October 13th at Redwood Christian Park, near Boulder Creek, California.
One of the highlights for the students this year was learning how to conduct “Brown’s Transects,” a method to quantify woody debris in a natural landscape. Students measured surface fuel at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park in an area that was recently treated to control vegetation and rehabilitate the Santa Cruz Sandhills ecosystem. During the Challenge, the teams of students also completed field training, followed by a field test, to assess their technical forestry knowledge.
“This is an amazing event combining the students’ skills in science, math, technology and environmental studies, all happening in the beautiful redwoods,” said Littlerock High School teacher Cindy Nelson. Petra Fierros, a senior at Littlerock, summed it up as follows: “I have learned many amazing forestry skills along with meeting terrific people from all over California. I have enjoyed this program all four years of high school, gaining outdoor experience and learning how to protect the environment.”