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Wildfire Reduction, Down to a Science

Fourteen students from the California Academy of Mathematics and Science participated in the recent San Bernardino Forestry Challenge.   The group was among 99 high school students from 13 schools in Southern California to gather at Green Valley Lake Christian Camp, near Green Valley Lake, CA.  One of the teams from CAMS placed fifth in the event.

During the challenge, teams of students completed field training, followed by a field test to assess their technical forestry knowledge and data collecting skills.

A highlight for these students was the opportunity to visit nearby YMCA Camp Whittle in Fawnskin to collect data on the forested portion of the property.  A fuels reduction project will be conducted on the property in the next few months with the primary goal of reducing wildfire severity.  Students used their data to determine whether the upcoming project will meet the landowner’s objectives. 

“This was our sixth consecutive Forestry Challenge and every year it gets better,” said CAMS teacher Matt Gold.  

Helen Barahona, a senior at CAMS, described the experience as unique.

“I learned about natural resource management and had my eyes opened to not only the beauty of the forest, but the importance of protecting and preserving this valuable resource,” Barahona said.  “The Forestry Challenge also helped me grow as a leader, and allowed our team to bond in a way that only a memorable shared experience can.  I will be forever grateful for the opportunity to participate in this amazing event.”

WILDFIRE REDUCTION - Students from the California Academy of Mathematics and Science participated in the San Bernardino Forestry Challenge near Green Valley Lake, learning about forest management and how to use data to reduce the severity of wildfires.  Select photo to view full image.