Meet the Team: Sheccid Gonzalez
Meet Sheccid—our National Forest Crew Lead who hails from southern California! She came to TCWP in 2022 and immediately fit right in with her previous experience in natural resource management.
Between last season and returning with us this spring, Sheccid worked as a forestry aid with CA State Parks, conducting desert restoration activities in the Sonoran desert as well as working in a position focused on biological monitoring and restoration along tide pools.
In our Q&A below, learn more about why Sheccid believes PlayCleanGo matters, her neat experience with a bighorn sheep, and her week working on Shadow Mountain.
Q: Where did you grow up and what brought you to TCWP?
A: I grew up in Southern California. I have a work history in ecological restoration and invasive plant control. I actually applied and accepted the job with no expectations of the area, not knowing anything about Wyoming—much less how special this Jackson Hole area is.
Q: What did you do between your first season here in 2022 and this 2023 season?
A: After summer 2022 I went back home to California and took about a month off to relax, go to the beach, and catch up with family and friends again. In terms of work I started a winter seasonal position as a Forestry Aid with CA State Parks. The position had me in different areas off the Sonoran Desert conducting desert restoration activities. I spent about two weeks during the winter holidays throughout Thailand. After my time in the desert, I took off about another month and a half; activities included: an intermittent position doing biological monitoring/restoration along tide pools, some time up in Oregon visiting family, two road trips visiting natural areas throughout the western states, and more beach activities.
Q: What’s your current role at TCWP?
A: It’s my second season in the crew lead position for all Bridger-Teton National Forest projects.
Q: What did this week look like for you?
A: I pretty much exclusively work with only one other person, although it’s a different crew member every week/couple of days. This week we hit the Shadow Mountain area; lots and lots of musk thistle :( We also started our second run through the Snake River Canyon. SRC was our first project hit back in the beginning of the season and we see the common weeds like spotted knapweed, musk/bull/canada thistle, common mullein, houndstongue, and ‘less common’ stuff like field bindweed, common burdock, common tansy, scentless chamomile, oxeye daisy. It's cool going back to sites we’ve already worked on because you get to see what you sprayed and their dead skeletons, what may have gotten missed the first time around, and the new rosettes that have come up throughout the season most likely aided by the rain events. Also, fall colors have definitely hit SRC and seeing the landscape change colors is cool.
Q: Are you working until the end of the season? If so, what are your thoughts on fall work?
A: Yes, I am working till the end. Fall work is cool because you get to see the landscape change. The mornings are cold which at first feels miserable but after some time the brisk air starts to feel nice. And the weather is just fairer overall which is nice.
Q: Best parts of the job?
A: The views, especially working in the national forest. Getting to discover places I otherwise wouldn’t have known to visit, and finding dope campsites.
Q: The biggest challenges of the job?
A: Very hot sun, thunderstorms, balancing the act of doing fun and active things on my days off vs resting.
Q: What have you learned between your first year at TCWP and now?
A: Lots of weed identification and nuances in weed science/ecology
Q: Best memory while working at TCWP?
A: What comes to mind is working in the Gros Ventre my first year. I remember just being in awe seeing the landscape and RED HILLS out of nowhere, how the rock formations out there change the deeper you go, and the water and the trees and everything just felt so beautiful and **different**.
Q: If you could get rid of one weed in Teton County, what would it be?
A: Musk thistle >:(
Q: What do you want every member of Teton County to learn from your work at TCWP?
A: Play Clean Go matters! I also get chatted up by the public and comments like “its never ending work!” or “it's a losing battle!” get brought up and I feeeel that omg—but also I think and know it’s work that actually does matter a great deal, especially looking at it through a lens of Natural Resource Management. And seeing the way a site can change over a number of seasons with solid, intentional, deliberate work and effort is sooooo pleasing.
Q: Coolest wildlife experience in the field?
A: It's nothing too special, but I was out in Hoback Canyon, Stinking Springs area. I had my head down looking for weeds, moving along, and my audiobook was playing aloud. There was a minute where I stopped and paused to think about it more and when I finally looked up, I saw a juvenile bighorn sheep about twenty feet away from me just looking at me curiously. We stared at each other for a good while and then he just turned around and kept going about his morning going up the rock outcropping.
Q: What is your favorite part of living in Jackson?
A: The outdoor access is unbeatable as well as the array of recreation activities.
A: Most things beach-related when I am back home, i.e: prone paddleboarding, open ocean swimming, tide pooling, etc. Out here in Jackson, I've spent my free time hiking, hitting the rec center to swim laps, backpacking, camping, biking, library visits, going to museums.
Q: If you could cross off one item on your bucket list what would it be?
A: At some point in my life I’m going to own a sailboat, and if I have the luxury to name it, it'll be ‘La Gloria’ (the glory).