175 volunteers dedicated 8,300 hours to benefit conservation projects and efforts throughout California
DAVIS, Calif., April 16, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California is celebrating National Volunteer Week, April 15-21, 2012, by thanking and honoring its Earth Team volunteers for their service to conservation. Earth Team is NRCS's official volunteer program. Over the past 12 months, 175 volunteers dedicated approximately 8,300 hours of service to NRCS California valued at nearly $180,000.
"We are proud of the great work that our Earth Team volunteers have contributed to conserving California's natural resources over the past year," said Ed Burton, state conservationist for California. "We wouldn't be as successful in our conservation mission if not for these volunteers, and the dozens of partner organizations we work with."
Here are just a few examples of the contributions made by California's Earth Team Volunteers over the past 12 months:
- Earth Team volunteers in Lancaster, Calif., conducted a weed abatement and restoration program in Bouquet Canyon Creek to control arundo donax, an invasive weed. With the help of a Southern California Wetland Recovery Project grant, volunteers removed arundo, replacing it with native vegetation along a 3.5-mile reach of the Bouquet Canyon Creek. Volunteers completed the first season of this multi-year project, with many tons of arundo being removed on 15 private properties and one large public area.
- Earth Team volunteers in Redding, Calif., helped construct large exclusion cages to help landowners meet prescribed grazing requirements. The cylindrical cages allow rangeland specialists to exclude 10 square-foot plots so they can clip vegetation in the fall to get the average pounds-per-acre of production for that particular year. This practice helps conservationists make accurate recommendations to improve land resources and the health of livestock.
Since the volunteer program was founded in 1985, over 600,000 Earth Team volunteers nationwide have donated 16 million hours to NRCS valued at $363 million.
Anyone, over 14 years old, interested in joining the Earth Team Volunteer Program can sign up at http://www.ca.nrcs.usda.gov/features/volunteers.html or by calling Pam Hertzler at (209) 722-4119 Ext 128.
NRCS has provided leadership in a partnership effort to help America's private land owners and managers conserve their soil, water and other natural resources since 1935. For more information on NRCS, visit www.nrcs.usda.gov.
SOURCE USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service