USACE PHOTO BY PARK RANGER LINDA BABCOCK
SOUTH PACIFIC DIVISION
Los Angeles District park ranger Annel Montsalvo, left, hands out information to a family participating in Los Angeles County’s Overnight Family Camping and Fishing event Sept. 26, 2020, at Whittier Narrows Recreation Area in South El Monte, California. Montsalvo and other park rangers used the event as an opportunity to educate members of the public on topics such as water safety, environmental stewardship, and flood preparedness as part of National Public Lands Day.
maintenance of flood risk management facilities, including 15 dams and 68 miles of levees and channels across Arizona, Nevada, and Southern California. These facilities reduce the risk of flooding for critical infrastructure, transportation corridors, residences, and businesses. The Ranger program, now a critical component of the Operations Division, provides staff with the opportunity to meet and educate the communities that live and work near these projects. When Figueroa was asked about the major recreation areas, or USACE-managed ones, and what his team does to supplement the absence of traditional ranger work, he explained that they focus heavily on interpretive and outreach programs, and in strengthening partnerships with numerous municipalities and civic organizations in the surrounding communities. 96
“Los Angeles is a goldmine for partnerships, and this district will soon lead the charge,” Figueroa added. On Sept. 26, rangers interacted with families during an overnight fishing event at the Whittier Narrows Recreation Area in South El Monte, California. The event was hosted by Los Angeles County. Rangers participated to commemorate National Public Lands Day, the largest single-day volunteer event aimed at inspiring environmental stewardship of America’s public lands. This year, federal agencies faced challenges as they sought ways to engage the public and celebrate National Public Lands Day during a pandemic. Event planners ensured the fishing event participants followed COVID-19 safety precautions. Los Angeles District park ranger Mary Carmona, who regularly attends public outreach events within the district, said education