Skip to content
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 “bought my coronary heart.”

Colvin was named this yr’s volunteer of the yr 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 talents, his quiet can-do perspective, and the instance he units for all of us,” stated Mike Bower, refuge supervisor at Ash Meadows in a press release. “I don’t consider 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 really becoming recognition.”

Colvin acquired his award on Wednesday on the Mayflower Resort in Washington, D.C.

“It’s actually gratifying that folks acknowledge your exhausting work and the quantity of hours that you simply 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, building and upkeep of accommodations.

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

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

Colvin has a house in Redding however for nearly 5 years has lived in his motor house 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 little bit heat within the summers although.”

Colvin works within the upkeep division. He helps preserve the roads open and runs many 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 bother,” 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 fluctuate, 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 offer 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 stage of volunteering,” Colvin stated. “If you happen to simply need to do knowledge entry you are able to do that. If you wish to be outdoors you could be outdoors. There’s alternatives for everybody of all ages.”

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

“I get to see issues that you could solely see right here, no place else on this planet,” Colvin stated. “There’s endemic vegetation and animals and bugs, there’s like 26 of them that you could’t see anyplace 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 in the course of the Tet Offensive.

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

Robert Peloquin, of Las Vegas, acquired the award for worker of the yr on the identical ceremony for his work on the Desert Nationwide Wildlife Refuge Complicated.

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

“I bought to fulfill a whole lot of nice individuals who deeply care about conservation and preservation for future generations,” he stated in an e mail.

Contact David Wilson at Observe @davidwilson_RJ on Twitter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *