Interns kick off in the Scott-Salmon and Happy Camp Ranger Districts

Interns kick off in the Scott-Salmon and Happy Camp Ranger Districts

02 JUNE 2018 | HAPPY CAMP, CALIF. — Earlier this year we started a discussion with the Klamath National Forest about placing interns with their staff to work the season. It was a new idea.

Ben Doan and Eric Earnest got to move this rock pile from the trail

We talked through it with our partners at the Happy Camp and Scott-Salmon Ranger Districts, and decided to go forward.

After the rock moving

Now we have six Siskiyou Mountain Club-Klamath National Forest interns. Four of those are designated to trails and wilderness. Two work the Klamath River, and one is working in visitor services.

Trail crew hikes through a burn area

Each of them work side by side with Forest Service staff day in and day out as they build the skills it takes to land a job working outside.

Rock work to stabilize the trail in burn areas

“It’s really good to be in a routine,” says Brianna Foster, who is working on the Klamath River as a River Ranger Intern. “I’m working 10 hours a day,” she says. Foster gets the chance to inherit the skills and knowledge of Dave, who has been working on the Klamath since the 80s.

Not a bad office for the summer

Ben Doan is working in the same District, but is assigned to trails and wilderness. “I’m really excited,” he says, “to see how the program shapes up. We wouldn’t be here without Siskiyou Mountain Club.”

Eric Earnest is placed south of Doan in the Salmon-Scott Ranger District. “I have already learned so much,” says Earnest. “I’m looking forward to gaining more experience. And having some fun,” he adds.

The interns are paid a $1,000 monthly stipend. They’re keeping journals and documenting their experience.

Taylor Lake

Gabe Howe says he wasn’t sure about the program at first. “We are used to supervising with our own interns,” Howe remarks. “With our own leadership. This is a big leap. But I have a lot of faith and trust in our partners in the Klamath,” he says.

Intern Amanda Lopez

The Club’s administrative costs are low, so the program comes at a value compared to national programs that provide similar services.

“And the program managers don’t have to call some office and work through a labyrinth of bureaucracy when we need to work through business. They call me, I pick up, and we figure it out,” says Howe.