Thursday, January 28, 2010

Conservation Camp Inmates and Staff Recognized for Outstanding Work

Inmates Construct Interpretive Sign in Sequoia National Forest

Inmates and staff at Miramonte Conservation Camp under the jurisdiction of Sierra Conservation Camp, were recently recognized for their work building an interpretive sign for a popular Sequoia National Forest tourist stop.

On December 15, 2009, the United State’s Forest Service recognized the camp’s Inmate Crew #2 for their “outstanding work” on the Junction View Overlook Interpretive Sign Project. Jennifer White, Lands and Special Uses Administrator, Sequoia National Forest, made the presentation.

“The Miramonte inmates went above and beyond what was expected to complete this project before the season’s road closing snowfalls,” White said. The work project, located on Highway 180 approximately 70 miles east of Fresno, is in the Hume Lake Ranger District in the Sequoia National Forest.

During her presentation, White identified four crew members for their “dedication and professionalism” exhibited during the project as well as lauding both CalFIRE and CDCR staff for their role in supporting inmates to perform restoration activities such as this sign.

Inmates recognized included Byron Young, Patrick Ritchie, Tim Richardson and Eddie Haworth, who were awarded a “Certificate of Appreciation” from the United States Department of Agriculture, which included the statement, “Without your help this project could not have been completed.”

“I have worked with all of the inmate crews from the Miramonte Conservation Camp over the years on several different projects,” White added. “I have to admit this is by far the best project we have worked on together. I appreciated all of the hard work and dedication they put into this project.”

The project required the construction of a rock structure on which a plaque identifying the surrounding topography would eventually be mounted.

“It is encouraging to see inmates receiving recognition for their efforts from the project sponsors,” said Lt. Randy Rowland, Miramonte Camp Commander. “Many camp inmates work very hard completing worthwhile projects throughout the State. These actions result in saving California taxpayers millions of dollars annually.”

During this presentation, Lt. Rowland thanked White and the Hume Lake Ranger District for their on-going support and challenging work projects for Miramonte Conservation Camp.

The Miramonte Conservation Camp operates under the supervision of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s (CDCR) Sierra Conservation Center. The Camp opened on September 15, 1949 and is jointly operated by CDCR and CAL FIRE. The primary mission of the Camp is to provide inmate fire crews for fire suppression principally in the Fresno County area, but crews may respond to emergencies anywhere in the State. In addition to fire suppression, inmate hand crews provide a work force for conservation projects. The Camp is located in Fresno County, four miles southwest of Miramonte off of Highway 65.

Conservation Camp Quick Facts:

The Inmate Fire Camp population is more than 4,400.

Only minimum security inmates are eligible to participate. Inmates typically earn $1 dollar per hour, and can earn up to two days off their sentence for every day they work fighting fires.

Conservation Camp Program inmates average 10 million work hours per year.