Editor’s Note: We are very pleased to have Jenna Narducci on board this summer as our public lands intern! Jenna comes with some very interesting experience and is excited to be with us.
I’ve lived in many places on my journey to Idaho. From Pennsylvania to Kansas to New Mexico to Arizona to Oregon to California, I always found moving around the country to be nearly effortless. Packing all of my belongings into my car became an art, part of a tradition that my dad taught me years ago. I never tired of meeting new people, or exploring the vastly different areas that make up the country-whether I was in central New Mexico or southern Philadelphia.
Becoming a Part of ICL
I cannot overstate how thrilled I am that my meandering has brought me to the Idaho Conservation League. This summer I am helping out ICL’s public lands program. I am researching federal proposals for management of land and wildlife, reviewing laws and policies that guide resource management, and developing science-based comments. It has already been an amazing experience: I get to work with incredibly smart and passionate people, make a difference on issues that I (and so many Idahoans!) deeply care about, and learn new things every day.
My Path to ICL
In between camping and hiking across the country, I managed to complete a B.S. in Natural Resource Management at Oregon State University. I focused my studies on environmental policies and regulations and how they have affected land management in the past 50 years. I also spent a lot of time researching what stakeholders expect from public lands and different ways they can collaborate to achieve a consensus.
I was introduced to public land management when I moved from Philadelphia, Penn., to Ruidoso, N.M., to work with the U.S. Forest Service. I helped establish a monitoring program for the fuels management team to assess the effectiveness of their land treatments. As this was my first field job I learned a lot of lessons the hard way. For instance, sometimes black bear mommas allow their yearlings to hang around (in addition to their cubs), creating the rare and awesome bear pack. Said bear packs may decide that your sheets of precious, handwritten data are delicious -causing you to have to return later and reestablish plots. Despite these now-entertaining lessons, the experience opened up a world that was unknown to me on the east coast.
Upon completing my degree I’ve worked with a myriad of groups including the Great Basin Institute, the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Geological Survey. From standing in the baking sun of northeastern California debating with coworkers about grass species to sitting in a cubicle cataloguing legacy land treatments for the BLM, I am so glad to find myself in Boise giving a voice to the beautiful lands of Idaho.