American Conservation Experience Newsletter Volume 2
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Welcome to ACEbook!

Happy Summer, Friends of ACE! 
From sea to shining sea ACE is working hard to better our beautiful nation and we are busting at the seams with our ever growing programs and new locations such as our hugely successful AmeriCorps Program, our amazing EPIC Intern Program, an exciting new offering with our Conservation Vacations and the opening of our newest office in Asheville, North Carolina.
With this being our 10th year we continue to blossom and grow and we absolutely appreciate all of the hard work, support and friendship that you all have bestowed upon us.
We Thank You! 

We hope that everyone is having a beautiful Summer 2014! 

Thank You to
Our Generous Supporters and Partners
Santa Cruz, CA: 
8/10/14 - We will be welcoming up 450-hour EAP class of 25 members
8/16/14- The graduation date for our Summer California Volunteers AmeriCorps members
8/24/14 - We will be welcoming the remainder of our 2013/2014 EAPs with a class of fifteen, 300-hour members
9/9/14 - The graduation date for the remainder of our Spring/Summer California Volunteers 
AmeriCorps members

9/14/14 - Start of our new California Volunteers class and the new grant year with CV. 
Flagstaff, AZ: 
Our friends at Flagstaff Biking Organization are actively seeking out individuals who want to be involved in the trails program at a higher level. It's a great way to get involved in our local trails system. 
8/16/14- Rocky Ridge maintenance – west side
9/20/14- Pedals v. Pistons v. Horseshoes v. Hiking Boots, Kelly multi-use Trails Project
9/27/14- Little Bear restoration
10/25/14-  Roger’s Lake connector
A letter from Chris Baker:
Welcome to the second edition of ACE-Book, our quarterly collection of events and accomplishments that we hope provides a glimpse into the uniquely impassioned personalities that drive the engine of ACE.   As we reach the peak of our 11th field season, conventional wisdom might suggest gravitation towards complacency or a temptation to take for granted the dedication of both volunteers and staff.   With each successive year my admiration for their dedication only grows so I would like to devote this issue to the theme of commitment.

Last evening as I arrived in Flagstaff the very first staff member I encountered was John Donovan, returning with a crew from a restoration project at Tuzigoot National Monument. When I think of commitment and determination it’s hard not to leap to an image of John, incredibly completing his 7th full year leading ACE field crews.  When daunting desert conditions requires a leader with tenacity, resolve, and a relentlessly supportive outlook, John answers the call, week after week and year after year, always with a smile and a philosophically happy thought to share with all. As I circulated through ACE’s Santa Cruz and Flagstaff headquarters this week,  I passed the offices of Matt Roberts, Dan Overton, Susie Jardine, and Afton McKusick, each of whom has incredibly dedicated a decade or longer to ACE and to the conservation corps model in general.  As I met with Jordan Rolfe, in his 7th year coordinating and training ACE crews and discussed logistics with Adam Scherm, Mike Santiago, Colin Griegerich, Marcel Coppolino, and Keith Trainor, all of whom have been dedicated to ACE’s cause for five years or longer I realize that commitment for these and many, many more ACE staff represents a lifestyle and career rather than just a passing phase.

While service measured in mounting years represents one remarkable form of commitment, in May I was reminded of the daily acts of commitment that each ACE member and leader strings together to achieve success on every single ACE project. For eight days I had the opportunity to supervise a crew removing Tamarisk at the confluence of the Green and Colorado Rivers in Canyonlands National Park, an experience I shared with a remarkably positive, capable crew, four members of which have since graduated into Crew Leader positions. As the heat and sheer physical challenge of the project reminded me of my own limitations, my respect for the unwavering effort and positive attitudes of these seven AmeriCorps members escalated by the day. Laboring alongside a determined crew for just these few days reminded me again of the spirit of commitment at all levels of the organization that is and always will be the key to ACE’s success.
  ACE In the News: 
ACE in the News / Waders in the Water Pilot Program
ACE is so excited to be working with a Corps Network initiative and provide a new training opportunity for our AmeriCorps members. Many of our members these days are coming to us with backgrounds in environmental science and restoration ecology, and this training will help ACE utilize and leverage those interests and backgrounds while implementing on-the-ground projects.The ACE California program is hoping to expand the scope of our operations to include more wetland restoration projects, and this training is one step in that direction.

Official Press Release:
Aquatic Restoration Training Program Launches &
Draws Rave Reviews

 WASHINGTON, D.C. – June 16, 2014 - The Waders in the Water program pilot is in full swing and Corps from coast to coast have begun receiving training and certification for climate-ready aquatic restoration emerging: with skills in aquatic safety, knowledgeable about installation techniques, ready to provide business and government with reliable restoration for streams, rivers and wetlands across the U.S. 
The Waders in the Water training and certification was built to support the goals of the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps which aims to have 100,000 young people and veterans working to improve public lands and waters everywhere.  The curriculum was specifically designed by The Corps Network and Trout Headwaters Inc. to enable youth to enter conservation careers by learning how to improve the health, productivity and climate-resiliency of our streams, rivers, and wetlands.
After some members of California AmeriCorps completed the training with American Conservation Experience (ACE), ACE Director of Operations Keith Trainor said "ACE is thrilled to provide members with this valuable learning opportunity. The ‘Waders in the Water’ training will translate directly into increased safety and crew productivity on our restoration projects.  This   benefits our partners, crew leaders, and most importantly the wetland habitats themselves."
Upon completing the training, AmeriCorps member Steve Reighley remarked “I found theWaders in the Water training extremely valuable.  I was so impressed with the depth of the material.  I left inspired to pursue a career in conservation and wetland restoration.”
Excitement is being expressed as well by business and government, who say they have long-wished for a trained and skilled national restoration workforce.  Adam Davis, Partner and Director of Research, Policy, & New Markets for Ecosystem Investment Partners in San Rafael, California, believes “a highly-trained Youth Corps workforce will be a powerful tool for the restoration economy. There is certainly no shortage of work to be done.”  

For more information on this program CLICK HERE
Digital Journal posted a great write up on our
newest endeavor Conservation Vacations. 
To read more about it CLICK HERE 
ACE In the News / National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Grant Awarded to Pinnacles National Park Project

Official Press Release: American Conservation Experience of Santa Cruz, CA was awarded $74,891 for “Taking Flight – Youth Make a Difference in Condor Recovery”, a collaborative project with the Bureau of Land Management Hollister Field Office and Pinnacles National Park. The innovative project will provide jobs and applied job skills training to 23 local and tribal youth to work on a large conservation program. Project activities include: radio tracking condors, habitat restoration (such as microtrash collection, native seed collection, seeding, and invasive plant control), outreach through public speaking and presentations, video and web design for nature interpretation, and mentoring other youth through K-12 school programs. Participants will receive training and conduct activities that will directly enhance California Condor survival and restore condor habitat. Matching funds and in-kind services will supply an additional $120,000 to the project. The award (supported by BLM funding) was announced in May by Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and was based upon a competitive grant program managed by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. It is a part of the Department of the Interior’s youth initiative to inspire millions of young adults and veterans to play, learn, serve and work in the great outdoors and the President's 21st Century Conservation Service Corps Initiative. A list of all the funded projects can be found at: news/upload/2014-Developing-The-Next-Generation-of-Conservationists-Project-List-3.pdf.
Pinnacles Ranger Corps participants and staff prepare for streamflow monitoring activities. NPS Photo.

ACE in the News / Pinnacles National Park Receives National Park Foundation America’s Best Idea Grant
Official Press Release: 
In May 2014, the National Park Foundation awarded Pinnacles National Park’s youth program, “Enhancing Pinnacles National Park's Ranger Corps: inspiring a new generation of park stewardship” with an America’s Best Idea grant.  This project will enhance the Pinnacles Ranger Corps, a recently launched youth program which was successfully trialed in early 2014. Through community partnerships, it expands the park's capacity to engage, educate, mentor, and employ local urban and rural youth, inspiring stewardship. Existing partnerships with American Conservation Experience, Pinnacles Partnership, and the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band will promote the program for youth ages 18-25.  Recruits will gain meaningful, applied work experience while supporting park visitors and the park's natural and cultural resources. Participants will be assigned to a number of program areas to maximize exposure to different projects. During the summer, the Ranger Corps will focus on work with Pinnacles condor recovery and habitat restoration programs, while fall activities will center on visitor access and services. With help from project partners, participants will also reach out to local schools and promote NPS service project volunteer days, thereby inspiring stewardship and a lasting connection between the community and the park. Pinnacles National Park will provide training, mentorship, and career advising to Ranger Corps participants.  This project complements a recently awarded National Fish and Wildlife Foundation grant to involve youth in California condor recovery and habitat restoration.
The Corps Networks Great Outdoors Day of Service
Photo Right: Laura Herrin from SCA and ACE President, Chris Baker work together in a downpour on trail maintenance in Fort Mahan Park, part of the Fort Circle National Recreation Trail in Anacostia.
The Corps Network Great Outdoors Day of Service: 
 ACE President Chris Baker concluded a trip to Washington DC by attending the Corps Network Great Outdoors Day of Service on June 13. Conservation corps staff and supporters from the Washington DC region and in fact from around the country converged in our nation's capitol to take part in service projects at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial and in other surrounding National Parks.
For more pics and info about this event CLICK HERE.
ACE Special Events and Service Projects
 Arizona Trail / Volunteer Service Project
hosted by Flagstaff AmeriCorps team.
AmeriCorps EAP Corpsmember Jason (Jay) McGlynn guiding 3 local high school students. 
Flagstaff, AZ: ACE AmeriCorps members hosted 10 Ponderosa High students and one teacher, doing some trail maintenance on the Arizona Trail connector between Lower Oldham and Rocky Ridge. They successfully worked a short section near the Lower Oldham junction installing 3 grade dips / water control features, narrowing the trail in a section that was braided and getting much wider as well as installing a rock drain/energy dissipator that was slowly head-cutting towards the trail. 
The kids worked really hard, had great attitudes and had so much fun! It was a wonderful experience seeing these young people working side by side with four of our AmeriCorps members, sharing life experiences and hopes for the future. A rewarding experience for all involved.  

Volunteer Service Project Success!
Christopher Podesta, ACE EPIC Intern and AmeriCorps member with the BLM in Bakersfield, held a successful Volunteer Service Project in Keysville, CA (BLM land on the Kern River managed as a multi-use recreation area). Keysville was originally a mining town that boomed in the 1860's, which was the catalyst for the settlement of the Kern River Valley.
With help from his fellow ACE Intern, Harrison Friedman, Chris recruited several volunteers from the community to help lead a group of physically and mentally handicapped individuals from the Lake Isabella area on a tour of the old mining town. The volunteers were in period dress to help set the scene and led the group around town while educating them on the history of the mining and pioneers and told them stories about the residents that used to live there including the “Shootin’ Walkers.” They also led demonstrations about native plants in the area and gold panning.
ACE Santa Cruz participates in the 45th Annual Mule Days Event
Left Photo: Bobby Faller providing guidance as two young ladies cut their first  round. 
Right: Photo: Ryan Kuehn partnering with a young patron on the two man crosscut saw.

Bishop California / Mule Days 
Memorial Day 2014 has come and gone but this year it marked the 45th Annual "Mule Days" celebration held in Bishop, CA. The celebration is a staple of the Eastern Sierra and the Owen’s Valley as it draws tens of thousands to the area. Many types of events are held during the celebration ranging from the rodeo to the annual parade. Additionally, informative booths featuring a variety of exhibits are set up throughout the celebration for hands-on training of the public.  ACE staff Eric Robertson, Bobby Faller and Ryan Kuehn assisted with one of the more interactive booths, demonstrating crosscut saws and branding. All participants could be hands-on with saws and for their efforts, could take home a round that featured a commemorative brand of the Wilderness Act of 1964. Quite a souvenir!
Flagstaff, AZ: ACE/AmeriCorps & Willow Bend Environmental Education Center partner for Earth Day.
Pictured: Joe Trecartin and Issac Zafft
Flagstaff ACE AmeriCorps members and staff partnered with the Willow Bend Environmental Education Center in Flagstaff over Earth Day weekend to create the first phase of a rainwater harvesting terrace project at Willow Bend. The project is designed to catch rainwater from the Willow Bend building and funnel it towards the hillside seen in the photos, several feet from the building itself. The hillside is currently a steep slope of wild weeds, but in this first phase of the project the pictures show where our AmeriCorps members have created a small terrace into the hill. The harvested rainwater will end up flowing into this terrace to collect, allowing the hillside to be planted with flowers and shrubs to beautify the area. If successful, the terrace will be extended further down the hillside behind the member seen working in photo 1, creating a beautiful structure in this area of Flagstaff.
In the News: Salt Lake City /EPIC Program:
In May, as part of the Department of the Interior’s ambitious youth initiative to inspire millions of young adults and veterans to play, learn, serve, and work in the great outdoors and the President's 21st Century Conservation Service Corps Initiative, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced $6.7 million in grants to support conservation employment and mentoring opportunities at 43 projects on public lands across the country – a 60 percent increase over last year’s funding.

The grants, the latest in the Obama Administration’s efforts to develop a 21st Century Conservation Service Corps (21CSC) and expand employment opportunities for young people and veterans, will provide jobs resulting in paid conservation work experiences for more than 620 youth on public lands, as well as fund materials, transportation and other related supplies.  These projects will also support approximately 1,550 volunteers working on public lands. 

On the day of this announcement, ACE EPIC Wilderness Fellow Elizabeth Mejicano had the opportunity to meet and work alongside Secretary Sally Jewell on a service project at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge! ACE is excited to be selected as a 2014 NFWF grant recipient. NFWF projects for 2014 include the ACE projects such as condor recovery in Pinnacles National Park, habitat restoration in the Sierra National Forest in California, and invasive species management along the Virgin River in southern Utah! 
Director of Utah, Jeff Bousson during the first round of design at a vista above Trail Canyon, just north of Kanab, UT.  If the trail is built where Jeff and Mark designed it, this will be a favorite part of the trail for sure!

ACE Utah Director, Jeff Bousson and National Trails Coordinator, Mark Loseth were given the exciting opportunity to assess and lay out three new and existing trails for the BLM Utah Kanab Field Office. After strapping on their hiking boots and filling their packs with water (lots of it), flags, clinometers, and GPS units, Jeff and Mark ventured into the desert to design and flag about 7 miles of trail; measuring grades and identifying possible structures. These multi-use trails will enable local residents and visitors to further explore and experience the beautiful landscapes around Kanab. ACE is grateful to have been chosen to design safe and sustainable trail systems allowing non-motorized recreation (hiking, biking, and equestrian) in southern Utah. ACE crews will begin repairing trails in the Kanab and look forward to the possibility of building the trails we designed.
Flagstaff, AZ: On June 10, ACE welcomed their first Youth Conservation Corps crew members.  The crew is lead by Cait Healy and Kyle Byas. 
The crew, consisting of 16-18 year old Flagstaff locals, will be working at Walnut Canyon NM, Wupatki NM, and Sunset Crater NM, controlling invasive plants, clearing tumbleweed from fence line, fence repairs, fuels reduction and erosion control.
We are so pleased to be a part of YCC! 
 BLM Utah’s Earth Connections Camp:
A day of cultural heritage passed down to the next generation. 
Salt Lake City/EPIC: In June, ACE EPIC AmeriCorps Program Manager Caitlin Bueller participated in the BLM Utah’s Earth Connections Camp at Red Butte Garden as a Team Buddy. The goal of the daylong camp is to reconnect urban American Indian youth with their natural world and cultural heritage. For the second year, American Indian educators and agency specialists, including BLM Utah State Director Juan Palma, teamed up to provide meaningful, memorable learning experiences to a new generation of cultural leaders, teachers, and stewards. Nearly 30 youth spent the day immersed in science, history, health, and cultural identity programs.
Flagstaff AZ: ACE participated in the 2014 Mormon Lake Outdoor Festival on Saturday, June 14th. It is an annual family event featuring over 40 vendors and organizations. It was a chance for ACE to interact with the Flagstaff community speak with interested youth and adults. Mike Santiago manned our information table that day and we had a great turn out. For more information on this event CLICK HERE
Flagstaff AZ: Our Flagstaff team has worked with countless schools over the last quarter, engaging community youth in service projects and service learning opportunities. These young people have had the great opportunity to work with our Flagstaff AmeriCorps teams. We hope this mentoring spirit will inspire our local youth to look into the AmeriCorps program in the future.
Some notable service projects and events are:
-The Corps Network EAP members, Jon Wuske and  Dale Thomas constructed a pond as a wetland demonstration area at Beaver Creek School in Rimrock, AZ. They were helped in this construction project by Jr. high classes from the school.
-On April 18th Mount Elden Middle School brought a classroom to the Arizona Trail near Walnut Canyon for a day of team building and trail construction. Four ACE AmeriCorps members led small groups of students throughout the day, teaching them about trail design and helping them perform trail maintenance on areas that were heavily damaged. This day was made possible with the help of the Arizona Trail Association and the US Forest Service. 
- In May ACE once again partnered with the ATA and US Forest Service to guide a group of middle school students from Flagstaff Junior Academy in trail maintenance on a different section of the Arizona Trail. Two ACE AmeriCorps members and ACE staff participated in this event. 
-In June ACE AmeriCorps members helped lead small teams of volunteers at a community Trail Day in Picture Canyon. 38 volunteers contributed their efforts in this event. 
-June saw the graduation of our Arizona-based AmeriCorps members for this year, with 9 successfully completing their term of service and enjoying the heart felt gag-gifts they were awarded at their graduation ceremony. A highlight for this class has been their work on the Apache-Sitgreaves Bark Beetle project, which has occupied most of them for the final 2-3 months of their service term. Their dedication and perseverance on this project has helped it greatly.
ACE Project Showcase
Flagstaff, AZ
Starting this spring, ACE has had the opportunity to work directly with the Southwestern Exotic Plant Management Teams (SWEPMT).  Crews have been working directly with Park Service employees to remove noxious plants from our National Parks.  Projects include, Tamarisk removal at Wupatki National Monument in Flagstaff, removing invasive grass to rehabilitate wildflower fields at Mesa Verde National Park, and removing noxious plants around the overlooks at Black Canyon National Park, both Colorado.  Still to come are projects in Great Sand Dunes National Park this summer and again at Mesa Verde National Park in the fall.   This has been a great opportunity for our crews to work in amazing locations while improving our National Parks and the Southwest ecosystems. 

Left Photo : Tobias Kribben, Cai O'Kane, and Jack Hil
Estes Park
ACE also took on a new project in a beautiful mountain town just outside of one of the most beautiful and geographically high National Parks in our nation. Estes Park sits just outside of Rocky Mountain National Park. Earlier this spring two of our Crew Leaders, John Maxon and Keean Ruane traveled to Estes Park to take part in a layout and design training which included laying out a re-route at the beginning of the Homer Rouse Trail.  The beginning of this trail was swept away in the 100 year flood which swept through Estes Park in September of 2013.  While at the training those Crew Leaders discovered that ACE would be the Corps that was going to build the re-route they were helping to design.
A few weeks later John Maxon arrived back in Estes Park with his crew and they commenced construction of the re-route.  They worked closely with the Recreation Department of Estes who gave them support in the form of mechanized machines.  The trail starts by crossing over a creek and then traversing up a hill to a sweep turn which directs back across the slope for several hundred feet where it meets back up with the old trail. At the creek two large causeways were required to keep the trail level and above the creek bed and a bridge was required to cross the creek itself.  The causeways were built mostly with the machinery.  Lionel Begay, our resident rock guru, led a team building a large dry stone retaining wall to link up the causeway and the traversing section of the trail.  The crew worked very hard in an area where trail was not easy to build and the final result was excellent.  We all hope that we will get to see and work in Estes Park again.
Salt Lake City, UT / EPIC
Anna “Nell” Smith and Michelle Cartnick, with their supervisor Josh Higgins,
showed us their sweet skills down in Indian Gardens.

Salt Lake City, Utah/EPIC
Indian Gardens, Grand Canyon & Dos Palmas Preserve, Palm Springs:

 In May, ACE EPIC staff Hannah Wendel and Caitlin Bueller set out on a weeklong site tour through Southern Utah, Arizona, and California to visit their interns out on their projects. They had the opportunity to visit many interns and project partners with NPS and the BLM in all three states. Pictured below are two of ACE EPIC’s exciting current projects. The first features Vegetation Management Interns and AmeriCorps members working in the Grand Canyon. Anna “Nell” Smith and Michelle Cartnick, with their supervisor Josh Higgins, showed us their sweet skills down in Indian Gardens.
In addition, ACE BLM Recreation and Wilderness Interns and AmeriCorps members Neila Cole and Angie Lee, along with their supervisor Vincent James, were able to take a break from their busy day of monitoring and surveys to show us around their projects in Palm Springs (and take a photo or two). Pictured here is the Dos Palmas Preserve, an oasis in the middle of the desert in California, which is a sensitive habitat to both plants and animals. This is just one of the areas in Palm Springs where Angie and Neila have been collecting data to monitor the changes that occur over time and coming up with solutions to preserve the land and its inhabitants.  
Left Photo: ACE BLM Recreation and Wilderness Interns and AmeriCorps members Neila Cole and Angie Lee, along with their supervisor Vincent James
Right Photo: Anna “Nell” Smith and Michelle Cartnick working to identify plants in Indian Gardens 
Santa Cruz, CA
Routine maintenance on Eastern Sierra trails is quite common in the spring each year. Here our Shepherd’s Pass project takes part in clearing a large boulder blocking a pack stock trail.

Santa Cruz
Inyo National Forest Summer Projects

ACE’s 2014 Eastern Sierra footprint is getting larger! The six crews spread throughout the Inyo National Forest hit the ground running and are in full swing. We have four California program based crews, and two Epic internship based crews, totaling nearly 40 Ace members at a given time. ACE crews are working on a variety of projects ranging from travel management on off-highway vehicle (OHV) roads/trails, to wetland meadow restoration, to even cross cut felling and rock causeway construction. It’s exciting to see the accomplishments come flowing in hitch by hitch.  

Hilton Lakes crew members utilizing log tongs to mobilize large fallen trees to causeway sites. 

Triptych of causeway construction erected by our Hilton Lakes backcountry project. Through crosscut felling the crew is able to build the channel for the causeway.
Lake Tahoe, CA
Lake Tahoe 
ACE Tahoe Crews have been working very hard to get some key trail projects done in preparation for the busy summer season.
Work has been focused on the popular Eagle Falls Trails overlooking iconic Emerald Bay and also on the soon to be popular Monument Pass Trail. 

The Eagle Falls Crew has been working diligently to fix erosion problems and pubic safety concerns along the first mile of this trail. During the busy season this trail can see well over 1000 people a day making it one of the most popular wilderness trails in the country. Crew Leaders Bobby Faller and Ryan Kuehn have done and outstanding job leading this crew doing highly technical rock work in a beautiful alpine setting.
The Monument Pass Trail will complete a loop in the Freel Peak Basin and connect with the hugely popular Star Lake Trail, which many ACE alumni have fond memories of building in 2011. The crew, led by Amber Stack, has been working alongside the Forest Service crew helping with building new trail, building rock walls and steps, and assisting with drilling holes for blasting operations. This trail, which meanders through stunning old growth Junipers, is scheduled to be officially open by July although local mountain bikers have already heard about how fun it is and are getting their wheels dirty before the crowds come.
Saint George, UT
Saint George, UT 
 Canyonlands National Park
It may have been 3 years but it didn’t take long for ACE President/CEO Chris Baker to jump back in the saddle as Crew Leader for our project at Canyonlands National Park. Chris and his crew worked alongside the National Park Service (NPS) cutting and removing roughly 1 acre of highly dense and dirty tamarisk on beach sites at the Confluence of the Green and Colorado rivers. This successful project started and ended with ACE and the NPS boating up and down the Colorado River. The purpose of the project was to improve the backcountry campsite conditions as well as protect and create fuel breaks around cottonwood, willow and box elder stands. The entire crew was very grateful to have had the unique opportunity to protect such a premiere landscape.
Asheville, NC
Great Smoky Mountains National Park - Former ACE Staff member, Josh Shapiro, explaining the finer points of operating a gas powered wench. ACE crew Leader Jaime Webb  and crew listen attentively.


The ACE Asheville office kicked off projects June 2nd and has been extremely busy building ACE's reputation in the Southeast. Our projects include trail rehabilitation in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, trail maintenance in Cumberland Gap National Historic Park, new tread construction on the Overmountain Victory Trail of the Blue Ridge Parkway, and a unique project in Congaree National Park which involves paddling down the creek in a canoe and clearing river trails free of log jams and obtrusive vegetation.  
Currently the new program has 37 corps members, 18 of which are part of the Americorps program. We are currently working in North Carolina, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Kentucky. Next month we will start an exotic plant removal project with the Weed Action Coalition of the Hickory Nut Gorge, as well as shift to a wetlands restoration project along the Blue Ridge Parkway. In the Fall, we will be looking to re-connect with Mammoth Cave National Park and seek more relationships in the surrounding areas.
Its been a busy summer and we have only just begun!
Conservation Vacations - Catalina Island &
Grand Canyon National Park
Catalina Island and Grand Canyon National Park

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to take a
Conservation Vacation with ACE?
Crew Leader, Wyatt Lane would like to tell you all about it...

"I've just started as a crew leader with ACE’s Conservation Vacations program. This program is meant for boomer Americans keen on doing some service work, young folks interested in getting a taste of conservation while “vacationing like a park ranger,” and international volunteers looking for a different park experience than the standard flyby tour bus mode routine.
The program is expanding to include opportunities in different parks around the southwest, but for this season I will be in the Grand Canyon working with the NPS vegetation crew doing restoration and invasives. Our first two weeks just concluded. So far the project partners are fantastic, and our first group of volunteers– consisting of Koreans and Americans– were awesome.
Part of the program schedule includes days off for hiking and other recreation, which allows myself and the volunteers to let go of work for a bit and enjoy some of what we love the most about the outdoors: hitting the trail. We had some fantastic hikes on some of the canyons most popular trails.
One of the highlights for me had nothing to do with a trail. On a free evening we managed to attend a documentary showing at the Mckee Ampitheatre, part of the First Friday Film Fest at Grand Canyon. Showing for us was a film called City Dark which looks at the ramifications of light pollution and some cities and towns that are striving to recapture the night sky. It was inspiring to watch under the night sky in a national park. We had quite a bright moon during the project, but there were still some great nights for stargazing.
We have several projects upcoming for the season with more fantastic volunteers, and I look forward to it immensely. I feel lucky to be stationed in a place like Grand Canyon, where it will take months for me to really begin to get to know such a vast park. I hope to write about the specific work we are doing as I become more acquainted with the science behind it. For now, I am enjoying the ride!"    -Wyatt Lane / Crew Leader - Conservation Vacations

ACE Conservation Vacations offer the exciting prospect of making significant contributions to conservation projects aimed at maintaining & restoring America's national parks & wild lands, uniting keen volunteers from the US & around the world to help restore these natural wonders to their magnificent splendor through short-term conservation experiences.

For further information about ACE Conservation Vacations, including start dates and prices, please visit or Like us on Facebook. Specific queries can be directed to


Getting to know you...
10 Random Questions: Jordan Rolfe
We at ACE are always on the GO! It's the name of the game in our business. Sometimes we are so busy that we don't seem to have time to get to know each other on a personal level. Ever wonder what makes your Crew Leader tick? Or what your Director is motivated by? Or how about what's playing on your Field Ops Manager's
Well, here are 10 (make that 11) Random Questions we asked Field Operations Manager, Jordan Rolfe, that he so graciously answered for us.
1. What’s the hardest thing you've ever done? Jumped out of a plane.  (And doing so without having to change my underwear afterwards)
2. What’s your favorite indoor/outdoor activity? Outdoor activity - Hiking, although it's a retrospectively enjoyable activity,  I'm usually cursing and wheezing whilst I'm hiking.
3. What’s your least favorite mode of transportation? Helicopters.  Severe puke factor
4. If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor? My Dad.  If I can be half as good a man as him, I'll be happy. 
5. If you had to work on only one project for the next year, what would it be? Writing my own novel.
6. If you could be any fictional character, who would you choose? Indiana Jones (As long as you forget the fourth movie!)
7. When you have 30 minutes of free-time, how do you pass the time?  I read. The only thing I almost always carry is a book.
8. What songs are included on the soundtrack to your life?  U2 - Beautiful Day & Pachenbel - Canon in D Major (Played as I flew to the USA for the trip that changed my life), Holst - The Planets, Jupiter (Rugby memories) Michael Franti - Say Hey (I Love You) (Kristina and I's song).
9. What do you miss most about being a kid? Long summer vacations where we'd spend all day playing sports outside.
10.If you could learn to do anything, what would it be? Speak as many languages as possible.
11. (Yes, I know it says 10 questions but I had to throw this one in.) What is your must have item you bring from home out on project? That's easy. PG Tips teabags. Can't start the day without a good cuppa!
And now you know 11 things about Jordan you may not have known before!
Thanks Jordan for being my first victim! -SJ
Elaine Lio - An ACE intern in 2012 who is now working in Santa Cruz in the position with the longest title: Management, Development, and Logistics Assistant
Lowell Krusling - A former ACE AmeriCorps member and Crew Leader, Lowell has returned for the summer to run the Inyo South Zone project
Marvin Schwendener - Marvin worked with ACE CA last year as an AmeriCorps member and will be returning this summer to lead a Tahoe Trails Crew.

Aaron CollinsAaron is from Jamestown, CA and spent some time working alongside ACE crews on our BLM NorCal project in the King's Range. He is new to ACE and will be a Crew Leader. 

Will Chaney -  Will hails from Wisconsin and spent the Spring leading volunteers on conservation projects within Waukesha County Parks in Wisconsin. Last fall he spent three months in the Pacific Northwest (WA and BC) completing a semester in outdoor leadership with NOLS. He is new to ACE and will be a Crew Leader. 

ACE EPIC welcomes the new group of Wilderness Fellows for 2014
The Wilderness Fellows Initiative was established to advance wilderness stewardship in our federally protected areas while providing an opportunity for wilderness advocates and young professionals to gain valuable career experience. Wilderness Fellows provide on-the-ground support to help staff integrate wilderness character into monitoring, planning, and management. For each wilderness, Fellows collect and compile data to produce baseline assessments of local wilderness character that address the special and unique qualities of each wilderness, and assist staff in many ways to improve wilderness stewardship. This year, Fellows will work on wilderness character assessments for federal lands spanning the country, from Alaska to Georgia. These assessments will be produced for wilderness areas at 12 National Wildlife Refuges, two National Parks, one National Parkland, two National Monuments, and two National Forests, and one National Fish Hatchery.
For more information on this year’s group of fellows CLICK HERE

So long to our friend Jason Metzger who worked with ACE for 8 years. Jason was a Crew Leader, Logistics Coordinator and eventually Director of our Utah program. We wish you well in your business venture with your family. Your humor will be missed! 

Goodbye to Dave Hung. One of ACE's first AmeriCorps members, Dave was a forestry intern and then earned a spot on our AmeriCorp / GOCYF crew. He then  transitioned into a Crew Leader. Eventually Dave was promoted to Assistant Chainsaw Trainer and Coordinator. We look forward to hearing about great things in Dave's future as he has decided to go back to school to further his studies in mechanical engineering. 

The ACE family is also proud to say goodbye to staff members whose commitment to ACE and to the ideals of service has helped pave the way for their next meaningful opportunities. Joel Baker, who served at every level of ACE CA since 2007, from member up to State Director, is one of only 6 fellows accepted into the prestigious Shriver Peaceworker Graduate Program at the University of Maryland.  
Jeff Boussen  who led, trained, and recruited hundreds of ACE members in our Flagstaff, AZ and St. George, UT offices over the past four and a half years, will be entering the Climate Science and Solutions graduate program at Northern Arizona University this fall. Jeff will still be working part-time with ACE while pursuing a career focused on implementing renewable energy programs and policies for the future.
Joel and Jeff’s commitment to ACE reminds us that service has its own inherent rewards, but is also highly respected and esteemed in academic and professional arenas outside the confines of our own organization.

Time Log Member Reflections:
My time at Manti La-Sal was fantastic, and very rewarding. The work was very challenging, yet fun at the same time. It was interesting, having to figure out where to find good anchors for logs, and how to properly move the logs over moderately rough landscape. The work had potential dangers, yet the PPE made me feel comfortably safe. I can tell my time at ACE will be the best experience of my life. On top of all that, I've made very good friends, and really got close to people even in just a week. It was an amazing experience, working side by side with my crew members, and sitting around the campfire with them at night. I can't wait for my next project.  -Dylan Lunt, 900 EAP
Hello Alumni! We have had almost 100 past members from around the globe fill out our little survey. Thank You!  
It has been so inspiring reading the stories of where life's journey's have taken you after ACE. It's so humbling that we were a small part of your path. 
I have gotten out all but one bumper sticker to those of you who filled out the survey in its entirety. If for some reason you filled out the survey but still have not received a sticker please email me directly at
For those of you ACE Alumni  who have yet to fill out the survey, please see the box below for the link address. We would love to connect with as many of you as possible. 

And on that note I think a contest is in order...
Contest: "Where in the World is your ACE Alum sticker?"
Rules: We would love to see where you are in the world. 
Examples: If you are parked in front of the Eiffel Tower and happen to have your ACE Alum sticker on your car, take a picture and email it to me. OR are you hiking the Andes and happen to have your sticker on a water bottle. Take a pic and send it in.
Now I know I don't have to say this to all of you good people but I must. Please do not deface or put stickers on public property or monuments of any sort please. 
This is open to all ACE Alumni Members who have completely filled out the survey and received a bumper sticker. 
The sticker MUST be in the photo. 
I will post all entries onto our ACE Facebook page. Once I post the photos we will leave it up to the masses. The most "likes" will win this beautiful 40 oz. Wide Mouth, BPA Phthalate free, lead free Stainless Steel water bottle from Kleen Kanteen and yes, that bumper sticker will be on it. 
Dates for entry: August 1 - Sept 15, 2014. 
Email your photo to: with the subject: ALUM CONTEST PHOTO by the Sept 15th deadline. I will then post to FB and judging will go until Sept 30th. 
Good luck and I look forward to seeing where you are on this glorious planet. : ) -Sooz
Are you an ACE ALUMNI? If so, we want to hear from you!  
If you haven't already, please fill out our survey so we can see what
fabulous journey you are on post ACE.

If you fill out the Great Stories portion we will send you
this super hip, very cool, one of a kind
Member Reflections: I realized early on in my term that the best part about working with ACE is the people. I have learned so much about myself and other cultures working all over the southwest with a wide range of people. I have met so many new friends from all over the world and I'll never forget the ACE experience we shared. -Rachel Finer, GOCYF
Our very own ACE Alumni have traveled far and wide utilizing the skills they received while within the ACE program to propel them into the job of their dreams.  We are thrilled that many of our "ACE'rs" are continuing work in the field of environmental conservation.
Here's what they have to say about the time spent with ACE and where they are today.
Thanks for keeping in touch Alum! 

"ACE provided me with the confidence and skill set to pursue a job working for the federal government. I currently work wildland fire for the Bureau of Land Management. Many of my qualifications, wether it be chainsaw experience, knowledge of fuels, or other things, were picked up in my time in ACE"   -Toby Leon

"I loved the last year of my life in ACE, but I am excited about my new adventure as a field biologist and finally having a chance to use my degree. I do believe ACE helped me get this position, because of all the growth as a person I did this last year."   -Sarah Bord

After working for ACE for a six months as an AmeriCorp member and a year and a half as a crew leader, I moved back home to Portland, Oregon in December of 2013. Shortly after I made the move I decided to take a month long Wilderness EMT (WEMT) course in Weed, California with the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). After successfully completing the WEMT course in February, I immediately got a job as an arborist with a tree service in Portland. At the beginning of March I was offered a job as a Restoration Worker at Yosemite National Park. It is now mid-June and I just finished my job with the tree service and I moved to Mammoth Lakes, California yesterday. I can't wait to start my new job in Yosemite next week!
The skills, knowledge, and experiences that I gained during my time with ACE have been so valuable to me on a personal and a professional level. Before working for ACE I really struggled to find employment with a federal land management agency. After having worked for the organization I was able to get a ton of interviews and got several job offers with a variety of agencies. I am so thankful for having had the opportunity to work for ACE. I sincerely feel that it changed my life. Thanks so much for everything you guys do! -James Maxwell

Are you looking for a job in Conservation? Check out the Conservation Job Board
Meet and Greet our Elaine Lio

We at ACE are so happy to have Elaine Lio join our Santa Cruz, California team.
Elaine was born and raised in American Samoa. She
 received her associates degree in General Agriculture from American Samoa Community College. Elaine started work with the National Park of American Samoa in June 2010 through the Youth Summer Job (YSJ) program, conducted by the government of American Samoa. During that time the National Park hired Elaine as a Volunteer to assist in the administration and terrestrial division. In 2011, ACE President, Chris Baker introduced ACE to the National park of American Samoa and Elaine began working with ACE. Her background in conservation has consisted of  hiking and surveying vegetation plots. Transplanting and maintaining the reforestation areas, and invasive plant removal among many of her jobs while in American Samoa. 
She has now moved into ACE life in Santa Cruz, California and is our Management, Development, and Logistical Support Intern based out of that office. 
We are so very proud to have Elaine on our team! 
 Time Log Member Reflections:
My first project was fantastic. I learned so much about the environment, how to work with others, and myself. I found it exhilarating to be working in an area that most eyes have never seen before. The challenge of the terrain made it extra special as well. I learned how to persevere through mental blocks and how to correctly identify hazards that surround me. I enjoyed working with people who don't let the little things get to them and can see the brighter side of situations. I feel like even just these 8 days out have taught me how to change the way I perceive situations and I've learned the less you stress about things you can't control, the better luck you have in it working out.  -Melanie Benjamin, 450 EAP
Since 2010 ACE has offered education award positions through one of our various multiple State or National AmeriCorps programs.
This year we are offering 221 Education Award Only opportunities through the Corps Network. We also maintain our relationship with the Governors Office of Children, Youth and Families and host 11 members within that program. 
ACE AmeriCorps programs are designed to provide American youth with professional development, job skills training necessary for advancement in outdoor careers while also meeting critical community needs through environmental stewardship, service learning, and volunteerism while earning them a Segal Education Award after completion of the term of service. 
For more information regarding our ever growing AmeriCorps program please contact ACE National AmeriCorps Program Coordinator, Brad Hunter at
Time Log Member Reflections:
This project is unlike any other I have done with ACE. It requires us to be much more methodical and work as a team more than usual as we are spread out forty feet from one another and are advancing as a unit to staple pheremone packets to trees to prevent bark beetles from attacking and killing vulnerable spruce and fir trees which the endangered Mexican Spotted Owls use as habitat. Throughout the three weeks that we have been there we have gotten much better at what we are doing and are becoming faster and more sleek when moving through the forest. -Max Ley, GOCYF member

During the week of April 14 – 17, 2014, the International Trails Symposium was held in Fountain Hills, AZ.  A mobile workshop was held on the AZ Trail in the 4 Peaks Wilderness.  As part of the workshop, the hiking group from the Symposium hiked through our work segment and stopped to discuss the planning, logistics and management principles that have guided and affected this project.  The photo at left shows Keean giving a field based presentation to the Symposium participants. 

Congratulations to New Trails Trainer and Coordinator in Flagstaff:  Keean Ruane!
We are proud to announce a new addition to the ACE Trails Department, Keean Ruane.  
Keean’s advancement within ACE is a testament to the values we believe in as an organization.  Keean began developing his large skill set with ACE in September, 2010 as a forestry intern.  Learning the principles of conservation work inspired him to continue his training with an Americorps position.  Immediately following his time as a corps member, Keean’s natural leadership and desire to learn was rewarded with a crew leader position, a title he held over two and a half years. Now as the ACE Trails Trainer, Keean will ensure that all trail projects within the Inter-Mountain region are completed to the high standards that exist within ACE.  Since his promotion, Keean has already worked with and educated our crews in Cumberland Gap and Petrified Forest National Parks, Navajo National Monument and the Dixie National Forest.  He has taught these crews dry stone masonry, trail construction, timber structure construction, and the fundamentals of sustainable trails. To further his ability to teach crews proper trail work, he has also attended industry leading trainings on Sustainable Trail Design and Advanced Rigging Techniques.
Congrats Keean! (And a sidenote...this boy can SING! Thanks Keean for your dedication to ACE and your great singing voice. Nothing makes Sooz happier than hearing Mr. Ruane crooning in the halls of the office.) 
Marieke Flynn has started her new position as the AZ/ UT Chainsaw Field Trainer.  Marieke started at ACE in September of 2012 as a volunteer. Since then she worked hard and became a valued part of the ACE team, with her passion for the work, leadership, and teaching skills. Congratulations to Marieke!
Congratulations to our
ACE / EPIC members!

- ACE BLM Arizona Youth Coordinator Fellow, Elizabeth Dalley was hired on with BLM AZ Fire after successfully completing her ACE Fellowship. As an ACE Fellow with the BLM in Phoenix, Elizabeth coordinated and led a field school and now many of her students have been selected as ACE interns for upcoming projects.

-ACE Catalina Island Invasive Plant Intern, Emily Chase was hired on by the Ventura County Environmental Services doing surveys in mosquito breeding areas- stopping the spread of vectors instead of nonnative plants!

-ACE Natural Resource Intern, Desmond Murray was hired on with NPS at the John Muir National Historic Site after successfully completing his ACE Internship and AmeriCorps term there.

- ACE BLM Utah Rangeland Fellow Sadie Runge was hired on as a Wildland Firefighter with the US Fish and Wildlife Service at Charles M. Russell Wildlife Refuge in Montana.

-ACE intern, Josh Littlejohn was hired by NPS at Crater Lake National Park after completing his ACE Internship at Pinnacles National Park.
Congratulations to Kenneth Doutt and Nico Ramirez who were hired on with NPS at Lava Beds National Monument upon the successful completion of their ACE Internship. Here they are pictured with current ACE Lava Beds Interpretive Interns Amy Collier, Mary Sullivan, and Marybeth Klink.
These interns and staff rangers at Lava Beds will be able to answer questions, provide maps, and conduct programs during your visit this summer.  If you find yourself in northeastern California this summer, join them on natural and historic hikes, morning talks, and journeys through the lava tube caves! Programs are offered daily beginning in June.

ACE Utah is proud to announce a new addition to our field staff: Kyle Harlow!
Kyle began his conservation career as an ACE AmeriCorps crew member in Sept. 2013 with ACE AZ. Kyle possesses an exceptional work ethic, positive attitude, and professional demeanor. In addition, Kyle’s eagerness to learn and grow within ACE in conjunction with his leadership skills made it clear that Kyle was the right man for the job.   
We are excited to have Kyle be the official ACE Crew Leader in Dixie National Forest, leading crews in the Cedar City, Powell and Escalante districts. Kyle’s crews will be covering a lot of distance, opening and repairing trails, as well as re-rerouting new trail.
Kyle has already been a strong addition to the ACE Utah Field Staff for 2014 and we believe Kyle has a lot of potential to grow further within our organization. We congratulate him on his new role and thank him for playing a pivotal role in assisting ACE Utah with another successful field season. 
In memory of Isaac Zafft
With heavy hearts ACE was sad to hear of the loss of one of our own.
Isaac was an ACE corpsmember from Spring 2013 through June 2014.
Isaac was an integral part of  the ACE Flagstaff culture and family during his time with us. From his very first hitch he shared his love for adventure, music and trains.  He stood out with is generosity, humor and sweet Eagle Scout skills. Isaac demonstrated a zest for life that is hard to match. He will be remembered by all his beloved friends from ACE.    
Time Log Member Reflections:
My time at Manti La-Sal was fantastic, and very rewarding. The work was very challenging, yet fun at the same time. It was interesting, having to figure out where to find good anchors for logs, and how to properly move the logs over moderately rough landscape. The work had potential dangers, yet the PPE made me feel comfortably safe. I can tell my time at ACE will be the best experience of my life. On top of all that, I've made very good friends, and really got close to people even in just a week. It was an amazing experience, working side by side with my crew members, and sitting around the campfire with them at night. I can't wait for my next project.  -Dylan Lunt, 900 EAP
ACE has teamed up with the Amazon Smile Foundation to receive charitable donations from people who buy from Amazon.
Your contribution through Amazon Smile will help support our programs commitment for the preservation of our national parks and forests and public lands.
We greatly appreciate your support!
 CLICK HERE for more information. 
Thank You to ACE's Board of Directors
for your guidance.
James Allen, Brad Bippus, Gordon "Boz" Bosworth,
Charlie De La Rosa, Pamela Foti, Brian Francis, JIm Keeler and Shayne Miller. 
Your support is very much appreciated. 

2014 Spring ACEbook corrections:
  • Finance Director Hilary Beasley's name was misspelled with an extra L being added to her first name. It's HILARY with one L.  
  • The date of National Trails Day was incorrectly posted as September 13th, 2014. The actual date was June 7th, 2014. 
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Thank You to our fabulous ACE Newsletter Contributors:
Afton Mckusick, Jeff Bousson, Brad Hunter, Tom Wilson, Patrick Parsel, Keith Trainor, Eric Robertson, Keean Ruane, Mike Santiago, Mark Loseth, Caitlin Bueller, Hannah Wendel, Marieke Flynn, Joel Baker, Matt Roberts, Chris Baker, Susie Jardine.

-Creative Marketing Manager / Alumni Coordinator / Newsletter Editor, Susie Jardine
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