First off, I can honestly say that I was able to apply every course I took in the RFW program. For any students thinking of obtaining a position with BC Parks I would pass on that the RFW program sets you up for success in a ranger position, and all the courses are applicable. My supervisors were curious about the program and I was able to share my Selkirk experience with them. I hope this helps in recognizing future RFW students from Selkirk College for BC Parks positions.
A Jack of All Trades...
I learned quickly that being a backcountry ranger also means being a jack of all trades, and I feel the RFW program set me up perfectly for the position. My duties and projects ranged from conservation work such as vegetation and wetland surveying, facility maintenance, infrastructure planning and development,report writing, enforcement and public education.
Dunn Peak Protected Area Trek
My favourite project in which I got to take the lead on was the development planning of a new trail system within the Dunn Peak Protected Area Provincial Park. The current trail goes through a sensitive wetland area, and my job was to map out a trail that bypassed the wetland. I spent lots of time on Google Earth getting to know the general lay of the land and topography, and mapped out potential trails. I was then able to take my maps and use them to walk the potential trails in the field and collect data along the way. I was able to pull lots of knowledge from our backcountry and recreation management course, bushwhacking/survival labs with Keyes, and our maps and navigation course. I spent six days up in Dunn Peak with my fellow ranger partner. The area was closed to the public at the time due to wildfires so we had the whole place to ourselves. It was a rewarding and challenging experience!
Overall it was an amazing season filled with many experiences that allowed me to enhance lots of the skills I learned in the program. We did lots of work involving chainsaws, canoes and ATV's, so field school and the Slocan trip really paid off! I hope to obtain a career with BC Parks and my goal is to land a position in the Kootenays... Even though it is the most competitive area to get into, I am determined to end up there one day!