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Sierra National Forest Joins Hmong New Year

CLOVIS – The Sierra National Forest and Central California Consortium (CCC) are currently hosting an information booth at the Hmong International New Year at the Fresno Fairgrounds through January 1st.

The CCC is an environmental education, minority outreach and recruitment program and serves as a bridge between the USDA Forest Service, underserved areas, and community partners.

The mission of the CCC is to diversify the Forest Service workforce by encouraging careers in natural resources, higher education, and employment through mentoring, leadership and community outreach efforts.

Community Liaison with the CCC, Jerry Her, is helping to staff the booth with assistance from Houa Vang, who is an Outreach, Recruitment and Workforce Diversity Program Assistant. They are providing information to the public in both Hmong and English, on camping and camping ethics, fire arm safety, fire prevention, employment with the Forest Service and general information about the Forest. The majority of questions they field are related to campfire use and hunting and fishing. Visitors to the booth may obtain a campfire permit good through Dec. 31, 2015.

Jordan Flores, Senior Firefighter for the Kings River Hotshots, helped out with the Fresno Fair in October and had so much fun interacting with the public that he asked to assist with the Hmong New Year.

“I’ve enjoyed meeting and talking to the public and learning about the culture,” says Flores, who has 12 seasons as a fire fighter, 9 seasons with the Kings River Hotshots, and also issued over 40 campfire permits in one day at the event.

Jason Rodriquez, Fire Patrol and Prevention Officer, was also helping out at the booth, and brought his son along to check out the festivities. Law Enforcement Officer John Brinley was also on hand to answer any questions.

Steve Beri, Trails Supervisor was helping with the playful interactive display that demonstrates the need for responsible off-highway vehicle use. The display aims to educate participants by using remote controlled toy pick-up trucks to navigate a simulated motorized trail where the goal is to keep the vehicle out of sensitive waterways. Stop by and see how you do on the course!

Visitors can also enjoy Hmong arts and crafts and non-stop entertainment including vendors from all over the country and from abroad who are in attendance to sell arts, crafts and ethnic foods.

More information on the Sierra National Forest can be found at http://www.fs.usda.gov/sierra.

More information about the CCC can be found at http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/ccc.

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