About Us

P-CREW Mission Statement:

To develop the next generation of natural resource stewards through work experience, field-based education, personal growth, and professional development.

What we do:

  • Provide 5 weeks of professional and immersive residential youth conservation program
  • Employ 44 urban and rural high school students for paid summer work on conservation and restoration projects
  • Train youth to perform a wide range of skills to complete  project work such as trail maintenance, fuels reduction, invasive species removal, and more
  • Educate youth on land management, fire ecology, watershed ecology, and the impacts of the work they complete
  • Engage youth in sustainable outdoor recreation practices
  • Provide all gear, equipment, and transportation for the program

Why we do it:

  • To increase access to outdoor recreation
  • To empower youth to explore natural resource careers by building job skills and working alongside professionals
  • To build relationships between rural and urban communities
  • To foster positive personal growth and meaningful friendships
  • To develop a deep connection with the land and water
  • To strengthen the next generation of environmental stewards

P-CREW History

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.

In 2020 P-CREW fielded four youth crews mainly working with Lassen National Forest maintaining and clearing the trails in the Caribou Wilderness. Other 2020 project partners included Plumas National Forest and The Feather River Land Trust.

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P-Crew Staff

ASIA PFEIFER

ASIA PFEIFER

P-CREW Coordinator

Asia joined the Sierra Institute in the spring of 2021 to support the P-Crew program and pursue her passion for empowering youth through environmental stewardship. Prior to joining the Sierra Institute, Asia led the wilderness monitoring program in San Juan and White River National Forests of Colorado. Additionally, Asia served as a crew leader for Montana Conservation Corps and crew member for Utah Conservation Corps. Somewhere in between, she spent a year traveling through and immersing in Southeast Asian culture. Asia has a B.A. in Anthropology from CSU Chico. She balances her work with backpacking, cooking, and art. No matter where she is, it is her goal to create a space that reflects joy in cultural diversity, passion for environmental justice, and love for the earth and its inhabitants. 

AMY HAFSRUD

AMY HAFSRUD

Financial Manager & Crew Member Experience Specialist

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.


Summer 2022 P-Crew Leaders

Megan Fletcher

Megan Fletcher

Youth Corps Crew Leader

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

Meg Gold

Youth Corps Crew Leader

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 Phillips

Becky Phillips

Youth Corps Crew Leader

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 Lyons

Zacki Lyons

Youth Corps Crew Leader

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!


Summer 2022 All-Star Alumni Assistants

Lucan Keller

Lucan Keller

Alumni All-Star Assistant

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 Sundu

Nico Sundu

Alumni All-Star Assistant

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.

Peter Reifenstein

Peter Reifenstein

Alumni All-Star Assistant

Hi! My name is Peter and I’ve always really loved the outdoors, especially the incredible wildlife there is to witness and beautiful locations to see. My favorite part about P-CREW two summers ago was getting to do some hard work outside while getting to know a small group of people from many different backgrounds and perspectives! In my free time I love playing sports (especially Ultimate Frisbee and Badminton), designing card games, and discussing basically any topic with anyone! I’m originally from the bay area and I’m currently finishing up my second year at UC Davis studying Biochemistry. I’m really excited to come back to P-CREW this summer to learn more about myself, contribute to something useful while meeting lots of interesting people, and create some more great memories!

Claire Dresser

Claire Dresser

Alumni All-Star Assistant

Moving around a lot during their elementary school years, Claire calls the Bay Area home. While they study Agroecology, Education and Black Studies at UC Santa Cruz, their college experience has been spent across Santa Cruz, San Francisco, and Berkeley. Claire has always felt most at peace in nature and loves to think of a life that can be sustainably lived outdoors. The closest they have come to this in their lifetime was at PCREW! Claire is also huge on building community and loves to contemplate recreating a better world with other creative, quirky, and warm-spirited people. Having a wide range of work, play, and life experience, Claire can’t wait to get to know this year’s PCREW.