Many of our project sponsors love to work with up-and-coming conservation leaders, and Sonoma Land Trust is no exception. Their team has provided both work and skill-building opportunities on numerous occasions over several years for a few different small but mighty crews; most recently, our corpsmembers worked on Sonoma Land Trust lands on Little Black Mountain and Estero Americano. Corpsmembers had the opportunity to interact directly with the project sponsor, practice their professional communication, and work on their time management.  

From driving the windy Cazadero roads with a woodchipper in tow to hiking up steep hills in the rain, our corpsmembers proved they could do it all alongside Sonoma Land Trust staff! While the bulk of the work in both locations was ever-important fuel reduction for forest and grassland health and wildfire resilience, working on the land with the project sponsor meant that our corpsmembers and supervisors also learned about the history and significance of the different sites. At the Estero Americano Preserve, the corpsmembers learned more about tree species identification and the animals that depend on the primary tree of focus, the Monterey pine.  

Corpsmembers enjoyed practicing their tree-felling skills on larger, live trees, and were even able independently decide which trees to remove and how to do so safely. Both projects taught corpsmembers to rely on each other for safety and efficiency, with supervisors reporting back that their crews established good routines and let each corpsmember excel at a different task.