by Robert Barossi
Here in New England, there are many areas where the population swells in the summer. On Cape Cod, the coast of Maine and down in southern Rhode Island, many people arrive in the late spring and stay just until the weather gets cold enough to motivate the return trip south. This great story out of National Elk Refuge in Wyoming introduces us to some people who don’t spend their summers at the beach house enjoying the warm weather, sand and surf. They choose to jump in their RV and head to a National Wildlife Refuge to spend the summer working as volunteers. At many refuges, there aren’t many paid, full-time staffers and these summer volunteers make a huge difference, performing essential tasks all season long. Monitoring wildlife, protecting habitat, leading tours and providing visitors with educational classes or demonstrations are just a few of the jobs filled by these summertime environmental heroes.
More information here on National Elk Refuge. While the story focuses on that refuge, many volunteers spend the summer at other refuges in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.