12 Jul My Time Away From Flagstaff
In my last blog post, I had mentioned that due to the Pipeline fire and Haywire Fire that destroyed over 30,000 acres of land, I was evacuated from my National Park Service (NPS). This weeks blog post will focus on my adventures during my time away from the Flagstaff Area National Monument.
To start off, I want to gice a huge thanks to my NPS Supervisor Richard Ullmann for his incredible support and consideration during the fire and the evacuations. As I was evacuated from my NPS site, I was unable to work for the Flagstaff Area National Monuments. I was heartbroken seeing the National Monuments and the surrounding areas I called home being udderly destroyed by the fires. Unfortunately, my feelings of being heartbroken were shortly followed by feelings of immense stress and worry during this time, as I believed the fires would result in my internship being cancelled.
However, because of Richard and his compassion, all of my stress and worries would soon dissapear. As soon as I was evacuated from my NPS site, Richard began calling other NPS sites and offices in Arizona looking for opportunities for me to continue working and to develop connections and experience. As a result of him doing this, I was able to work/visit three different NPS entities to gain different experiences and connections.
I started off my time away from the Flagstaff Area National Monuments by meeting and working with NPS personnel from the Southern Arizona (SOAR) Office of the NPS. The SOAR is a unique NPS entity that is based in Phoenix, AZ, and serves as a support system for Arizona parks, monuments, memorials, and so on. As described on their website, “SOAR supports the Arizona units with all facets of operations: administration, visitor services, resource protection, facilities, and natural and cultural resources.”
Working with the SOAR office was certainly a different experience as my time with them focused more on administrative and behind the scene work compared to my normal education and outreach work with the Flagstaff Area National Monuments.
After my time working with personnel from the SOAR Office, I was stationed at Montezuma Castle National Monument (which includes Montezuma Well), located in Camp Verde, AZ.
During my time with Montezuma Castle National Monument, I was able to gain a different perspective on NPS operations, and I was able to gain beneficial pieces of training on NPS Fee Collecting and Fee Handling. Montezuma Castle National Monument has a connected history to the Flagstaff Area National Monuments, but park operations are quite different than that of the Flagstaff Area. So it was quite interesting to get a different perspective!
After my time at Montezuma Castle, I traveled down south to visit the Tumacacori National Historical Park located in Tumacacori, AZ.
During my time visiting the Tumacacori National Historical Park, I was able to meet with some of the Interpretation Rangers, and I was able to discuss with them park operations, educational programming, and park impacts following the Covid-19 outbreak. Tumacacori National Historical Park was actually the first NPS site I ever worked at, so being able to return and meet with the NPS personnel was a very personal experience that I am grateful I was able to have!
Overall, during my time away from the Flagstaff Area National Monuments, I was able to gain beneficial experience and connections that should allow me to have a successful future with the NPS. However, with that being said, I am extremely happy to be back in Flagstaff and with the Flagstaff Area National Monuments. Because these monuments have become my home and I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else but here!
Thanks for taking the time to read my blog, and as always, make sure you go out and explore your National Parks!
Marshall Morgan Fabara