Conservation Journal: Kyle

The Lakes Region Conservation Corps (LRCC) is an AmeriCorps service program that develops skills and experiences for conservation professionals. LRCC members are the driving force behind the Squam Lakes Association’s conservation efforts. The program provides hands-on conservation work experience and numerous certifications over a broad range of areas, which ensures that LRCC members are capable of independently approaching a variety of tasks in the environmental conservation field. Members remove invasive species from the Squam watershed, manage and act as caretakers at our backcountry campsites, maintain the SLA’s 50+ miles of trails, educate the public on local and regional conservation initiatives, spearhead reports on conservation efforts, lead SLA volunteer crews and ensure the daily functioning of the Squam Lakes Association’s programs. Click here to learn more about the LRCC program.

November 17, 2017

Kyle

Over time Squam has become less of a place to me and more of a lifestyle. It’s been great to see the lake from a bunch of different angles. I’ve worked as a Squam Conservation Intern, camp counselor, fall intern, and camp director, and now I can add Lakes Region Conservation Corps member to the list. The LRCC members (or “Lurkers” as many have started using in a somewhat endearing, albeit strangely derived, name for LRCC members) have been on point so far.

With the return of Connor who is a former intern and a previous Intern manager, Erin and Becca – both former interns, and myself with too many titles to put on a page (just humor me if you can), the no-good invasives and trail-eroding elements will cower before the might of the SLA’s power. Did I mention on top of that we also have three new-to-squam conservation warriors? Ben, Maggie, and Meghan are all new to the frontlines of the Squam watershed, but don’t let that fool you. They’re a group of educationally hardened, passionately driven, and tenaciously… tenacious individuals that complete this AmeriCorps super team.

This may all come across as “hyperbolic” or “exaggerated,” yet dare I say, oh reader, that it is not! It may be a bit embellished, but that is a different word. These adjectives are true to the best of my knowledge. The first week of training I saw Maggie, without any boating experience, take the wheel of the SLA Flagship, Calypso, and steer it effortlessly through the shallows and hidden rocks of Piper Cove. I listened as Ben described (with more specificity than I can even begin to pretend to remember) a salamander species to everyone. I saw Meghan saw into a blowdown, well after she had exhausted, with the same determination I see firsthand every single day working with everyone else at the Squam Lakes Association.

I’m so excited to see what this LRCC group matures into. I have an irrational fear that one day there won’t be any more conservation work to do on Squam, but then I remember that conservation is something that doesn’t ever really end. It’s an ongoing stewardship that helps tend to the often combative (though usually not intentional) clashes that nature and our kind go through. Maybe conservation is a bit of a lifestyle too, and that’s why I love Squam and I love seeing new people work in support of Squam and the SLA. I’ll gladly be a lurker (at least until we find a better name) if I get to work with these great people in support of something we all love.

Kyle is from Rochester, New York. He is working towards a degree in Chemistry from SUNY Oswego. Click here to read Kyle's bio.

 

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