Hi everyone! I am Devon and I am the Centennial Volunteer Ambassador at Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area, here is my Find Your Park Video to learn a little more about me and the park!
At Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area I have been faced with some challenges. Our rural park is mostly water-based, with limited land that is within our management. We also have limited people around our 150-mile lake; the closest large-urban area, Spokane, WA, is about an hour to an hour and a half from the park.
As a Centennial Volunteer Ambassador I am trying to bring volunteers in and connect with local communities. I have been fortunate enough to be welcomed to the local chamber of commerce meetings of various small towns sprinkled along our shores, as well as started communications with our neighboring tribes, the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation and the Spokane Tribe. What is very unique about Lake Roosevelt is that it is managed by 5 different parties, the National Park Service, Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the two Indian Tribes. Every quarter there is a 5-party meeting that we all attend. Having been to the most recent one, I was very surprised on how well each party worked with one another and the respect that was shown to all.
I have worked on many projects since my time here started in June and my supervisor has allowed me to learn about the different divisions here. I have been out on the lake a few times, most recently, helping our biologists with invasive crayfish removal. I have been roaming around campgrounds and day-use areas talking to visitors. I am also a part of our Centennial Committee and have been working with staff to organize events, such as the large quilt show we are hosting during the 4th of July weekend in 2016.
Throughout the month of September I will be attending local and regional fairs to get the word out about Lake Roosevelt Recreation Area and upcoming volunteer opportunities.
My main project I have been working on is organizing a shoreline cleanup for National Public Lands Day at the end of September. I have collaborated with division chiefs to determine what our needs will be for that day, and have produced flyers I will hand out at the local fairs to advertise our event.
The main set back to a lot of my projects has been the large wildfires that are spreading across the Northwest. Since our park is very linear and only as wide as the Columbia River, we have been forced to close our northern campgrounds, Day Use Areas, and Boat launches due to high fire danger and lack of evacuation routes. Essentially, over half our park is currently closed to the public. With these large fires that surround us in basically every direction, we also have unhealthy air due to smoke.The visibility is poor and it is extremely unsafe to be outside for long periods of time. With the lack of resources we could see this situation staying well into September. So I have been taking my job on a day to day basis to see what can be accomplished without being in harm’s way.
I hope the smoke will soon clear and I can once again enjoy the beauty of Lake Roosevelt! During my time here I hope to bring in more volunteers and community awareness about the National Recreation Area they have right in their backyard!