DUNES NATIONAL RECREATION AREA
2012 Goals and Objectives Background Valuing People and Places is a grant-funded program that several Pacific Northwest National Forests participated in this year. Its purpose is to build a stronger and more diverse public constituency that understands and supports the Forest Service mission and recognizes the significant environmental and social contributions National Forests make to the well being of the nation. Siuslaw NF has participated in this program since 2010. Through the Valuing Place grant, Siuslaw NF recruited and trained a “field ranger corps” to be stationed at chosen sites and give the Forest Service a “place presence” for the public. These field rangers were tasked with helping the public to better understand and connect with the featured natural resources, as well the Forest Service agencies managing them, through the offering of interpretive programs and services.
2012 Valuing Place Field Ranger Corps 2012 Goals and Objectives This year, Siuslaw NF strived to increase Valuing Place contacts and interpretive offerings, expand the geographic range of the Valuing Place program in the Siuslaw, and build a foundation for community partnerships and stewardship opportunities through collaborative outreach and education efforts.
Provide interpretive training, CIG certification, and followup coaching sessions for all Valuing Place field rangers to ensure the promotion of target messages Double the number of visitor contacts and geographic places from 2011’s Valuing Place program Offer purposeful interpretive programs that are significant to the specific resources of the ODNRA and CCRD, relevant to the public and promote the Forest Service mission Establish partnerships with local schools; develop and present at least one site-based curriculum program for one grade level for each district (ODNRA/CCRD) Participate in local outreach events in the ODNRA and CCRD to establish community partnerships
2012 Accomplishments: Diversity hiring .................................... 2 New training program ........................ 3 Serving the Public ............................... 4 Interpreting the resource ................. 5 Junior Ranger program ..................... 7 Education.......................................... 8 Outreach & Partnerships .................. 9 Media Presence................................. 10
Meet the Field Rangers This season, the Siuslaw NF went above and beyond to recruit a passionate, diverse field ranger corps to better represent and connect with the diverse public that utilizes Siuslaw National Forest. Of the eight STEP field ranger hires, all spoke a second language, and five were English second language students. The field rangers used their unique backgrounds and language skills to help connect with Siuslaw NF visitors. Dave Thompson Siuslaw National Forest Interp Specialist/VP&P Manager
Gayle Gill Siuslaw National Forest VP&P Administrative Coord.
Carol Daviscourt Siuslaw National Forest VP&P Field Ranger Crew Lead Michelle Shula Student Conservation Assoc. B.S., Environmental Science Mellie Bukovski-Reyes Portland State University, OR Masters: English to Students of Other Languages John Hill University of Oregon, OR Masters: Architectureâ€”Historic Preservation Lindsay Morgan-Duran Oregon State University, OR Masters: Fine Art Christina Ojeda Reedly College, CA Major: Forestry
Nick Cauthen Humboldt State University, CA Major: Environmental Science
Denise Truong Humboldt State University, CA Major: Environmental Management
Inti Duran Oregon State University, OR Masters: American Art History
Training to Forge New Connections A New Style of Training Training this year was improved, coupling Certified Interpretive Guide (CIG) training with resource-based training in the field. During this intensive twoweek program, field rangers spent each morning in interpretive classes and the afternoon in the field learning from experts. Presenters included Siuslaw NF’s interpretive specialist, botanist, wildlife biologist, archeologist, OHV program manager, timber program personnel, and several others who helped the field rangers better understand the many facets of the special sites at which they would be stationed.
Marrying the Sites To increase public contact and expand the geographic reach of the 2012 Valuing People and Places program, Cape Perpetua Scenic Area was added as a featured Siuslaw NF sites. Field ranger training was geared to marry the seemingly different natural resources featured at the ODNRA and Scenic Area, drawing connections between the geology, ecology, wildlife, and human history of the sites, so that the rangers could serve confidently at both locations. The rangers rotated daily between the two featured sites. Special emphasis was placed on understanding and explaining Siuslaw National Forest’s management practices to the public, in addition to promoting the Forest Service mission, “to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations.”
GOAL: Reach out and make that connection!
The Four Pillars To help achieve the Valuing Place mission of building a stronger public constituency, Valuing Place field rangers were trained to incorporate Four Pillars as the core of every interpretive conversation and formal program. 3|Page
Serving More People in More Places Engaging the Public From June 3rd to September 8th, Valuing Place field rangers were stationed in the Oregon Dunes NRA and at Cape Perpetua Scenic Area. They set up tables with information and interesting touchables, answered questions and engaged in meaningful conversations about the resources, and led guided hikes.
Valuing Place Field Rangers… Connect individuals with their natural heritage. Share and promote the Forest Service mission. Provide opportunities that encourage stewardship.
Breakdown of Contacts at Key Sites
Welcome to YOUR National Forest!
Oregon Dunes NRA Cape Perpetua Scenic Area OHV Campgrounds Outreach Total Contacts
10,579 21,142 1,012 4,540 37,273
Bienvenidos! Yōkoso! Willcommen! Welcome! Valuing Place rangers were trained to greet every visitor with “Welcome to your National Forest!” Additionally, all field rangers utilized their bilingual skills to better engage the diverse visiting public.
Visitor Feedback “Wow, I’m impressed by what I saw! Your public servants are very nice and helpful. Their smiles made my trip more enjoyable.” ~Visitor from China, 7/12/12 4|Page
Interpreting the Resource Telling the Story of the Siuslaw The primary mission given to the Valuing Place field ranger crew was to offer the public purposeful interpretive programs that promoted the mission of the Forest Service and remained significant to the specific resources managed by Siuslaw National Forest. Each ranger developed formal interpretive programs to present at the featured ODNRA and Cape sites and was also trained to turn more casual conversations with the public into meaningful discussions about the resources of the Siuslaw National Forest Service.
Feedback And Monitoring The field ranger crew was also tasked with monitoring and reporting their interactions with the public—keeping a tally of every contact, logging the particular messages they shared, and collecting visitor feedback. These numbers, weekly reports, and visitor comments can be accessed on the O-drive.
Visitor Feedback “We learned about the minerals in the sand, how the dunes were formed, the ecology of the ecosystem...Great job. As an ex-park ranger, I approve!” ~ Mike & Ann, Oregon Dunes Day Use 8/2/12
Visitor Feedback “We’ve made 60 years of visits to the coast. Ten minutes here with the friendly field rangers totally renewed my curiosity and appreciation. Thank you very much!” ~Jody & Doug, Cape Perpetua 6/7/12
Guided Hikes and Programs
Quality Time With the Rangers Valuing Place field rangers all had the opportunity to give formal programs at the Dunes and Cape, usually taking the form of thematic guided hikes. Participation this year rocketed, with over 3,292 participants.
ď‚Ť2012 Interpretive Contact Totalsď‚Ť Informal Interpretive contacts ...................... 11,405 Scheduled program/hike participants .......... 3,292 Scheduled program/hikes run ...................... 279
Historic Guests In addition to the guided hikes and programs offered daily by the field rangers, Valuing Place program leaders organized the special appearance of famed founding ranger Gifford Pinchot at the Oregon Dunes NRA and Cape Perpetua. Pinchot, played by FS archeologist Tony Farquet, made a lasting impression on site visitors while sharing the history and mission of the Forest Service. 6|Page
Junior Rangers—A New Legacy Calling All Rangers! The creation of the Junior Ranger program was a special 2012 achievement, facilitated principally by the efforts of the SCA education volunteer. Siuslaw NF now has Junior Ranger activity books specially written for use at the Oregon Dunes NRA and Cape Perpetua Scenic Area, as well as Siuslaw National Forest Junior Ranger badges to give the young people after they have completed the books and recited the Junior Ranger Pledge.
2012 Junior Rangers Sworn In Siuslaw NF JR Rangers ............. 223
The field rangers all agreed that swearing in a new generation of Junior Rangers was one of the best and most rewarding parts of the whole season.
The Junior Ranger Pledge “I pledge to help protect the plants and animals of Siuslaw National Forest, to share what I’ve learned with others, and to be a friend to all National Forests.”
Education and Collaboration Students Make a Difference Early on in the season, Siuslaw NF volunteers and Valuing Place field rangers teamed up with Siuslaw Elementary students and the Siuslaw Salmon & Watershed Council for a restoration project on the Oregon Dunes. Ninety-eight students aided in the removal of invasive species at the Oregon Dunes Day Use overlook under the direction of Siuslaw NF biologists and participated in guided nature walks with the interpretive field rangers. The story of this cooperative stewardship effort was published on the front page of the local newspaper. This event also led to the creation of future curriculum.
Creating Curricula This spring, Valuing Place field rangers teamed up with local educators to develop a Forest Service site-based outdoor education curriculum for use at the featured ODNRA and CCRD sites. The final product of this collaboration was an Oregon Dunes curriculum for first and second graders and a Cape rainforest ecology curriculum for sixth and seventh graders. The curriculum’s activities were written to meet Oregon Science Standards while connecting students to the featured resources and the Forest Service that manages them. Programs highlight a field trip to the featured sites for ranger-led outdoor education programs and include pre- and post-visit activities for use by educators in the classroom. The curriculum was demoed to a total of 146 students from Siuslaw Elementary School, Siuslaw Middle School, and Mapleton Middle School. It will soon be available online at Siuslaw National Forest’s education webpage.
Children’s Education & Outreach Dunes Stewardship Curriculum Demo Girl Scout Convention Boy Scout Gathering Tsalila Education Fair Total Contacts
98 146 1,007 200 1,320 2,771
Other Educational Events As part of the Valuing Place outreach initiative, field rangers presented at a number of youth education events during the 2012 season. These presentations included a Girl Scout convention in Corvallis, a Boy Scout gathering in Florence, and the Tsalila education fair in Reedsport. From fire prevention to salmon lifecycles, field rangers presented an array of topics—each tying in to the concepts of conservation, stewardship, and the Four Pillars. 8|Page
Outreach and Partnerships Getting the Word Out A 2012 Valuing People and Places objective was to participate in at least two community outreach events in the ODNRA and CCRD. This year, Valuing Place promoted the Siuslaw NF and its programs at Eugene’s Earth Day celebration, at Fort Vancouver and the Oregon Dunes on National Get Outdoors Day, and at the Cape Perpetua Scenic Area on National Trails Day. Valuing Place field rangers also presented programs for a Girl Scout convention, a Boy Scout fair, and a Siuslaw NF volunteer host celebration. Field rangers wrote literature for and presented at familiarization tours for frontline employees of the surrounding Forests, Parks, and Chambers of Commerce.
2012 Outreach Contact Totals Children’s Ed/Outreach ................2,771 Earth Day ......................................1,145
Building Community Partnerships
Valuing Place program leaders helped facilitate unique and needed partnerships with the local community for participation in events, particularly with the private National Get Outdoors Day .............447 landowners of Yachats, local trail volunteers, chambers of Volunteer Hosts Lunch ..................... 35 commerce, and the coastal tribal confederations. For the first time on Siuslaw National Forest-managed land, the Total Contacts ........................... 4,540 Confederated Tribes of Siletz and the Confederated Tribes of Coos and Lower Umpqua came together in partnership for a community outreach event on National Trails Day. The program also strengthened partnerships with multiple Region 6 National Forests for the Earth Day and National Get Outdoors Day events. Valuing Place made over 4,540 contacts through these collaborative efforts.
National Trails Day ..........................142
In the Media Reaching Out to the World This year, Valuing People and Places field rangers made a special effort into increase the Siuslaw NF’s presence in social media. Armed with digital cameras and a video recorder, field rangers made weekly postings of pictures and stories on four Facebook sites, which were set up by the Siuslaw’s non-profit partner Discover Your Northwest. The rangers also created flyers and distributed postcards that had QR codes (a popular application used by smart phones) leading visitors back to those sites where they could read about up-coming activities, see photos and videos, and share the story of their experience at Siuslaw National Forest. Valuing Place rangers made 607 Facebook referrals in the field, significantly boosting the pages’ following.
Give it a try! Scan this code to view a video of this year’s Valuing People and Places field ranger crew.
It was a very successful year – we’ll be back! 10 | P a g e