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Home » Wildlife refuge volunteer receives nationwide recognition

Wildlife refuge volunteer receives nationwide recognition


Rod Colvin has volunteered at Lassen Nationwide Park and Demise Valley Nationwide Park since retiring in 2016, however his present and longest volunteer cease “acquired my coronary heart.”

Colvin was named this 12 months’s volunteer of the 12 months by the Nationwide Wildlife Refuge Affiliation for his work at Ash Meadows Nationwide Wildlife Refuge in Amargosa Valley.

“I’m humbled by Rod’s selflessness, his information and skills, his quiet can-do angle, and the instance he units for all of us,” stated Mike Bower, refuge supervisor at Ash Meadows in a press release. “I don’t imagine any of us can actually repay our debt of gratitude to Rod for the whole lot he has completed for Ash Meadows NWR, however the Volunteer of the 12 months award appears the one actually becoming recognition.”

Colvin obtained his award on Wednesday on the Mayflower Lodge in Washington, D.C.

“It’s actually gratifying that folks acknowledge your laborious work and the quantity of hours that you just put in and I’m grateful,” Colvin stated. “It’s sort of out of my ingredient to go to D.C. to an occasion. I’m sort of a out within the desert man. That’s the place my consolation zone is, not within the workplace, not in Washington D.C. however I’m grateful to obtain the popularity.”

The 71-year-old labored within the timber trade in Oregon earlier than transferring to Redding, California, and beginning a profession within the constructing, development and upkeep of inns.

After volunteering at Demise Valley he wished to remain within the desert and have become a volunteer at Ash Meadows. Colvin stated volunteers usually work 90-day increments however he wished to stay round.

“When my time was up I discovered that I preferred it a lot right here I requested if I might keep and so they stated ‘definitely’ and so I’ve been right here for 4 and a half years to date,” Colvin stated.

Colvin has a house in Redding however for nearly 5 years has lived in his motor residence on the refuge whereas being a volunteer.

“It’s the best factor to dwell in such a particular place,” Colvin stated in an e mail. “A bit of heat within the summers although.”

Colvin works within the upkeep division. He helps preserve the roads open and runs a lot of the refuge’s heavy gear. Whereas the refuge regarded for a brand new everlasting head of the upkeep division, Colvin stuffed in and took cost.

“It retains me busy. It retains me out of hassle,” Colvin stated with a chuckle.

Colvin was married for 39 years till his spouse died in 2008. He has one daughter, three grandchildren and 7 nice grandchildren. An eighth grandchild is anticipated to reach in late December, he stated.

He stated his hours per day range, however he volunteers seven days every week as much as 50 or 60 hours every week. Colvin estimated he’s nearing 10,000 hours of service at Ash Meadows and volunteered greater than 1,000 hours at Demise Valley Nationwide Park.

“I’ve by no means been afraid of working,” Colvin stated. “It’s simply gratifying to provide one thing again. It’s simply enjoyable.”

Colvin stated there are volunteer alternatives for folks in each state with the Bureau of Land Administration, U.S. Forest Service, Nationwide Park Service or Nationwide Wildlife Refuge.

“Get off the sofa and are available and volunteer. They’ve each degree of volunteering,” Colvin stated. “In the event you simply wish to do knowledge entry you are able to do that. If you wish to be outdoors you may be outdoors. There’s alternatives for everybody of all ages.”

Colvin described himself as an newbie photographer and stated that volunteering at Ash Meadows permits him to pursue that zeal.

“I get to see issues you can solely see right here, no place else on this planet,” Colvin stated. “There’s endemic crops and animals and bugs, there’s like 26 of them you can’t see wherever else however right here and it affords me the chance to {photograph} them.”

He stated he images the whole lot from ash bushes within the fall to wild bighorn sheep and lizards.

Colvin is a U.S. Military veteran who served for 3 years and spent 1968 in Vietnam through the Tet Offensive.

“I’ve earned the proper to return out right here and provides away my time,” Colvin stated.

Robert Peloquin, of Las Vegas, obtained the award for worker of the 12 months on the identical ceremony for his work on the Desert Nationwide Wildlife Refuge Advanced.

Colvin acquired again from Washington D.C. on Friday morning and referred to as it an expertise, “I received’t quickly neglect.”

“I acquired to fulfill numerous nice individuals who deeply care about conservation and preservation for future generations,” he stated in an e mail.

Contact David Wilson at Comply with @davidwilson_RJ on Twitter.


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