Ponderosa High School students studied the Henry’s Prescribed Fire Project at the 2010 California Forestry Challenge, funded in part by the Sierra Nevada Conservancy and the California Forestry Association. From left to right: Max Madsen, Emma Deal, Kristie Wangan, Olivia Bennett, Leanne Gillespie and advisor Jane Sartoris. Courtesy photo

Cameron Park Life

Pondo students fired up at forestry challenge

By October 28, 2010

Ponderosa High School students studied the Henry’s Prescribed Fire Project at the 2010 California Forestry Challenge, funded in part by the Sierra Nevada Conservancy and the California Forestry Association. From left to right: Max Madsen, Emma Deal, Kristie Wangan, Olivia Bennett, Leanne Gillespie and advisor Jane Sartoris. Courtesy photo

Five students from Ponderosa High School recently participated in the 2010 California Forestry Challenge, joining 102 other students from 15 California schools.

One of the highlights for the students this year was the opportunity to learn about and create an action plan for the Henry’s Prescribed Fire Project, an approved project which now sits idle in the Eldorado National Forest. After spending a day visiting the proposed project area to collect field data and interact with natural resource professionals and landowners, students weighed in on some key issues, including pre fire treatments, to jump start the project. During the challenge teams of students also completed field training, followed by a field test, to assess their technical forestry knowledge and data collecting skills.

“My students really engaged during the California Forestry Challenge.  It allowed them to critically analyze a problem and realize that there is more than one solution,” said Tony White, an environmental science teacher at Elk Grove High School.

A student summed it up, saying, “The California Forestry Challenge was an enriching and memorable experience.”

The eighth annual forestry event was held Oct. 13-16 at Leoni Meadows Camp near Grizzly Flat, south of Placerville. The Ponderosa team won 10th place out of the 26 teams that competed.  Ponderosa High School has participated the last five years.

Special to Village Life

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