PHS Fire Science and QHS Natural Resources students spent a great day Dec. 20 working with the Plumas National Forest’s Wildlife Biologist Collin Dillingham and local Plumas Hot Shots on fuels reduction for the Storrie Owl PAC habitat project. Photos submitted

Portola and Quincy students lend a hand for habitats, learn about fuel reduction in a well-managed forest

Clearing tree limbs and brush will restore important habitat near the Storrie Fire for spotted owls and the goshawk, thanks to QHS and PHS students who spent some of their Outdoor Core environmental education class time out in the forest before the winter break.

City kids don’t know what they’re missing.

Even a day out in the forest helping to reduce fuel sources from fallen branches and cleared shrubs is a cool class assignment for Plumas Unified School District students because — well, it’s a day out in the forest!

As part of their acclaimed Outdoor Core environmental education studies, several students from Portola Junior-Senior High School and Quincy Junior-Senior High School  went out into the woods Dec. 20. It was a great day for forest and habitat management.

Working with Plumas National Forest Wildlife Biologist Colin Dillingham and members of the Plumas Hot Shots, the students came from the PHS School Fire Science class and the QHS Natural Resources class.


They earned some well-deserved aches and happy smiles working on fuel reduction that is part of the Storrie Owl Protected Activity Center project from the Fire Restoration Partnership between the PNF and PUSD.

The project is underway because PNF’s Mt. Hough Ranger District is reducing hazardous fuels to improve California Spotted Owl and Northern Goshawks habitat adjacent to the Storrie Fire in Plumas County.

Successfully managing a forest and opening up habitat space for wildlife was a valuable contribution the PHS Fire Science and QHS Natural Resources students provided while they worked with the PNF and members of the Plumas Hot Shots last month.

According to the forest service, activities for the Storrie Fire Fuels Reduction in Spotted Owl and Goshawk Habitat Project (known as the Storrie PAC Project) include hand thinning, hand piling, burning of piles, underburning and the obliteration of non-system roads.

The project goals are to reduce hazardous fuels, reintroduce fire as an ecological process and restore terrestrial wildlife habitat.


Sounds like the willing student workers from Quincy and Portola learned a lot about their local wilderness and did a great turn for the forest, too.  Cool partnership in action!