Trainee Adam Snitker interns with the National Forest Foundation

I was given the opportunity to serve as one of the National Forest Foundation’s (NFF) first Conservation Connect Fellows. As a fellow, I completed a summer long internship working in NFF headquarters in Missoula, Montana. My internship included taking part in several USFS focused trainings, sitting in on local forest collaborative groups, and extensive work on a NFF project. Specifically, I worked on a project based in the Lake Tahoe region, in California and Nevada. The Lake Tahoe West Restoration Partnership is an initiative to guide restoration activities on Lake Tahoe’s west shore. Working with multiple local, state, and federal governments, nonprofit organizations, and local businesses, the project’s purpose is to build landscape resilience against prolonged drought, increasing wildfire, and climate change. Working with National Forest Foundation’s Project Manager Sarah Di Vittorio, PhD, I created an inventory of ongoing monitoring in the Lake Tahoe region. This comprehensive monitoring inventory is intended to help inform Lake Tahoe West’s efforts to coordinate and implement new monitoring in the region. From this project, I discovered the large number of competing stakeholder interests that contribute to tough management decisions for a variety of landholders in the area.
My internship at the National Forest Foundation introduced me to ongoing management of the Nation Forest Reserve System from the perspective of the USFS, its partners, and other stakeholders. Although not explicitly apparent, the USFS has an incredible influence at the food-water-energy nexus. Considering the significant amount of surface water originating in national forests, the abundance of rangelands leased for grazing, or energy production that occurs on forest service land or from Forest Reserve products, the National Forest Foundation’s internship provided an excellent look into management planning and execution of multiple aspects of the food-water-energy nexus.