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Andrew Carnegie once said “Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.” Indeed, it’s how our species continues to survive. 

Collaboration and strategic partnerships are fundamental to improving community-based outcomes. This is the approach the California Conservation Corps, Revitalize Auberry, Fresno County District 5 Supervisor Nathan Magsig, and Sierra Resource Conservation District have taken in recent weeks. Their shared vision? To make our foothill communities resilient, now and for the future.  

COVID-19 has yet to slow down any of these groups. In fact, they appear to be gearing up. (At a safe 6-foot distance from each other and the public, of course) 

In mid-April Sierra RCD held an on-site tour of the old Auberry Mill for the CCC, Revitalize Auberry, the San Joaquin River Conservancy, Nathan Magsig’s office, the Tulare Basin Watershed Partnership, and Tranquility Resource Conservation District. SRCD’s recent efforts showcased their ability to turn wood into stored energy and biochar to regenerate our forests: a much-needed solution to our “little” tree mortality problem.   

The agency’s discussed at length how they could support each other’s efforts in strengthening the rural landscape. It was also an opportunity for Sierra RCD to showcase their new their newly purchased EC4 all-electric utility vehicle. The investment was made by the Air-Pollution Control Board. 

Discussions were centered around and pursuing economic development opportunities, while protecting our natural assets, and building a workforce for the future around biomass utilization, small business development, and conservation, all centered in the town of Auberry. If we’ve learned anything from the old Auberry Mill site, let it be “not to place all of our eggs in one basket.” 

Article by Tami Jones  

Top Left: SRCD District Manager Steve Haze explaining the biomass utilization process
Top Right: Steve Haze with Matt Hurley (Tranquillity RCD McMullin GSA) and John Shelton (San Joaquin River Conservancy ED)
Bottom Left: Local Auberry resident and electrical engineer Dan Zurcher explaining the gasification process
Bottom Right: Conducting business during COVID-19 on site is California Conservation Corps Regional Supervisor Shawn Murphy