The Plumas Conservation, Restoration, and Education in Watersheds program (P-CREW) was established with funding from Fire Settlement dollars on the Plumas National Forest from lawsuits won by the US Forest Service. Fire settlement funds are used for costs associated with fighting the fires and projects such as P-CREW that work to restore the fire areas in the years after and educate the public.
Earl Ford, the then supervisor of the Plumas National Forest, envisioned a youth program that engaged students from both the top of the Feather River Watershed in rural Plumas county with downstream student users from the East Bay area of San Francisco. Students would work to restore fire scarred landscapes and learn the importance of mitigating catastrophic wildfires. He approached Sierra Institute and we happily agreed to partner on this project.
After a year of planning, P-CREW launched its first summer of 2 crews in 2015. For the first two summers all projects were done with Plumas National Forest in the wildfire foot prints. Projects ranged from invasive species removal, to building burn piles by hand, to removing deer guzzlers that were destroyed in the fire and installing new ones.
As the demand for conservation crews grew and the word of P-CREW’s success spread, we were able to double the amount of youth participants (now 44) and projects accomplished in 2018 by adding two more summer crews for a total of four each summer. We also began expanding our work area, project partners, and funding sources.
In 2023, we made the commitment to our tribal partners to fill 25% of P-Crew Member Positions with tribal youth and intentionally include traditional ecological knowledge and land acknowledgements in P-CREW projects and programming.
Growing up in Michigan, Ama could be found playing in creeks, lakes, forests and sand dunes and working in corn fields. Her love of the outdoors, teamwork, and tangible results led her to a career in trails and conservation. While she is new to the Sierra Institute for Community and Environment and P-CREW, she has a long history of building teams and programs that have fun and safely get work done outdoors. Ama has served as a crew member, crew leader, project manager, founder of a conservation corps, program director, and educator in the public, nonprofit, and private sectors across 18 different states throughout the country. She holds certifications in Mental Health First Aid, Wilderness First Aid, OSHA 10, crosscut saw maintenance, is a Dry Stone Walling Association of Great Britain Level One Waller, a Leave No Trace Trainer, a griphoist and rigging for trailwork trainer, and a Federal Accessibility Guidelines for Outdoor Developed Areas educator (Behavioral First Responder and Wilderness First Responder pending). Outside of work, Ama can be found exploring our public lands by foot, wheels, or raft.
For the past 30 years, Amy has led outdoor education and leadership training trips throughout the U.S., including the Rocky Mountains, Sierra Nevada, Southwest, Pacific Northwest, and Alaska. She’s certified in Mental Health First Aid and is a Wilderness First Responder and holds a Behavioral First Response certificate. She serves as the Crew Member Experience Specialist and Alumni Communications Coordinator for P-CREW. In addition to the diverse experience in outdoor leadership programming Amy brings to our youth programs, she has also served as the financial manager for the organization since 1998. In her spare time, you can find Amy hiking with her dogs, working diligently in her garden, and serving as the community mom to the youth of Indian Valley.
Megan Fletcher is a local, she grew up in Westwood. In 2018 she did the P-CREW Program and after that she knew that conservation was something she wanted to do as a career. Last Spring she graduated Feather River College with an A.S in Environmental Studies. She has worked with Sierra Institute for about 3 years, starting out as a P-CREW member, then returning to be a AAA ( Alumni Allstar Assistant) in 2020. The next summer she returned to Sierra Institute as a part of the Wilderness Trials crew, and now she is currently working part time as a P-CREW coordination assistant until the P-CREW program begins, where she will be a P-CREW leader for the summer of 2022. Megan enjoys her time by hiking, exploring the beauty of the Lassen and Plumas county area and reading a good book with a cup of coffee of course! She is absolutely excited to be coming back to be a part of P-CREW once again.
Meg Gold grew their love for science, nature, and adventure growing up in Southeast Idaho. They enjoyed hiking and camping throughout their childhood and always felt connected to nature. They spent much of their time outside playing sports like soccer and competed at the D1 level of Collegiate Rugby while earning a BS in Biology. After spending years training and studying, Meg was thrilled to have the opportunity to begin working outside and has spent the past year working with kids of all ages as an Outdoor Educator in Colorado and California. Meg is beyond excited to spend their summer working alongside the students on the P-CREW team and forming lasting memories doing meaningful work.
Becky grew up on the central coast of California, in the beautiful town of Pacific Grove, and is now finishing up her Environmental Studies degree across the bay, at UC Santa Cruz. She discovered her love for the outdoors while working as a summer camp counselor, and enjoys biking by the water, hiking in the redwoods, and reading outside on a sunny day. After a gap year spent as an Americorps member in Seattle, Becky made her way to Oregon to work for a summer on the Pacific Crest Trail as part of a crew with the Northwest Youth Corps. She is thrilled to be spending her time working and living outside again, and to be able to share her passion for the outdoors with an amazing crew this summer.
Zacki was raised in the Appalachia Mountains of Kentucky, building stick forts in the surrounding forests. He is Majoring in Sociology with a focus on Critical Race Theory, Religion, and Sustainability. Zacki spent a semester teaching English in Morocco while doing field research on Islamic Feminism. Taking his summer to backpack throughout the Sahara. He has backpacked in 6 countries, hiking, camping, and exploring the local environments and cities. Beyond traveling and studying, Zacki can always be found in a nearby forest, or source of water, trying to identify the local wildlife. He adores drawing, reading, and learning languages. He is beyond excited to be part of the crew life and connect with amazing people!
Growing up in Oakland CA, Lucan’s love and enthusiasm for adventuring outdoors stemmed from mountain biking and camping throughout California’s mountains and rivers. Lucan has spent numerous summers in the Yuba and Smith River watersheds. Lucan is super interested in continuing his love and passion for outdoor work. He also finds himself through music and spending time with his friends. Since PCREW, he has completed his Wilderness First Aid Certification and has volunteered for various trail stewardships. This year he is enrolled in the Berkeley High School Fire Science Program and next year he will become EMT certified! After last year's excellent PCREW summer, he is super stoked to be a AAA this summer and is looking forward to building positive meaningful bonds with everyone.
Nico was born in Wisconsin, and grew up loving to play in the snow and play sports. Since he was little he would go on camping trips with his family, which were where he first started loving the outdoors. When he was in third grade he moved to the Bay Area. That's when he took up mountain biking and skiing in the winter. Mountain biking is what got him into trail building. At first, he wanted to have more fun and challenging places to ride, but later realized he was passionate about the trail-building itself. Nico enjoys listening to music and going on adventures with his friends. During P-CREW in the summer of 2021, he had a blast and learned a lot of new things. He is stoked to be an AAA this summer and meet new people while doing important conservation work. After P-CREW, he will return to Berkeley High School as a senior where he will continue mountain biking in the afternoons and building trails on the weekends.