For students who care about preserving our resources and sustaining them, the Wildlife Resources and Forestry program at Citrus College is your answer.
The program consists of seven classes ranging from plant identification to wildland fire management. In as little as three semesters students are able to receive a certificate of achievement.
Monica Rodriguez, president of the Earth Club and forestry student, 21, believes in the club because, “I want to preserve and conserve what we have. ” After high school Rodriguez was concerned about the earth’s resource problem and thought the solution was as simple as not cutting down trees.
“After taking Robert Goodman’s class, I learned that long- term sustainability is the goal,” she explained.
Citrus College is one of the few community colleges to offer this program in California, and the only in southern California.
Robert Goodman, who has been teaching the Wildland Resources and Forestry Program for the last 14 years, teaches most of the classes needed to complete the program.
These classes are Intro to Forestry, Intro to Forestry Ecology, Plant Identification, Intro to Forest Recreation, Wildland Fire Management, Principles of Wildlife Man- agement and Ecology, and Intro to Geographic Information Systems.
After the completion of the program, Goodman hopes, “that my students will move onto a four-year college.” These colleges include Berkeley and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. These colleges are part of the few universities that offer a forestry program.
Christian Velasquez, 22, biology major, is currently trying to complete the program. Velasquez wonders why more aren’t involved with nature. “We live and go to school next to these beautiful foothills, its only natural we should learn about what makes them tick,” said Velasquez.
Recently, forestry program students took a camping trip to Rainbow Basin Natural Area. Just minutes from Barstow, they hiked the scenic canyons and explored bat caves.
After completing the program, former forestry students have been accepted into the fire academies and the EMT programs. Many students take the program to be more aware, and gain a new appreciation for the environment.
If a tree falls in the woods, they’re the ones that hear it.