Alyse Weyman, Outreach Coordinator; Bear Yuba Land Trust
I’m happy to report that everyone has found housing (“The Shores”, “The Town House”, “The Treehouse” and “Camp Dawson”). More so, we have created a community of support for one another as we begin our service with the organizations that have invited us to join in their efforts. It is truly a gift to have this much talent and good energy gathered in one area…and to be able to collaborate with the rest of our 27 members as we move forward with our individual and collective goals for this year.
It feels good to be putting roots down, like riparian vegetation along our respective watersheds. We remain in waiting for a proper winter but in Nevada County, we’ve made the most of the endless sunshine by exploring trails along our local rivers and tributaries. I am elated to have a new crew of motivated folks to adventure with as I return to my hometown. Scrambling the granite boulders and wading through the eddies of the South Fork Yuba River, I can’t help but feel like a Chinook salmon, driven by primordial instinct and the memory of a place that I have longed to returned to after venturing elsewhere; trying with all my might to journey back home, with purpose, despite challenges and deterrents.
I was born and raised in Nevada City but it’s been a long time since I called this place “home”. With the intention of professionally contributing to the area that matters most to me, I began seeking out employment with the conservation organizations based here over a year ago. I (again) felt like a salmon, beating my head against a dam in search of further passage. Amidst other issues, there’s funding restraints that prevent most of these entities from being able to hire on new staff or even retain the staff that they already have. These are hard times…but challenges bring new opportunities and in my case, messengers with adaptive management plans for life. By connecting with SNAP members from previous years and gathering perspective from their experiences, I began to realize how much this program has contributed to
organizations in need of fresh, talented (and federally-funded) brain-power, as well as how the program provides a means of members being able to invest their talents while further developing professional skills. Turns out that SNAP is gathering quite a reputation for providing hands-on experience and post-service job opportunities. Through good fortune and the encouragement of SNAP Alumni, I have now returned home…with great purpose!