Basic Responder Training: Redwood Style

Washroom Team for the PPE activity during the Arcata Basic Responder Training

Last weekend, Scott, Greg, Curt and Nancy headed up to Arcata to offer our northern-most Basic Responder Training for the year. As always OWCN responders from “remote” locations showed a special commitment to travel longer distances to attend. For this training, we had folks traveling from Crescent City, Redding, the Bay Area and even two “southerners” who trekked over 550 miles from Bakersfield to Arcata!

Beautiful redwoods just outside the Marine Wildlife Care Center at Humboldt State University

This training was also notable for the diversity of Member Organizations and Affiliated Agencies: Humboldt State University Marine Wildlife Care Center (Thanks Tamar for your hospitality!), Bird Ally-X, North Coast Marine Mammal Center, Shasta Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation, California Academy of Sciences, Peninsula Humane Society, The Marine Mammal Center, International Bird Rescue, Noyo Center for Marine Science, National Park Service, California Department of Fish and Wildlife Office of Spill Prevention and Response, US Department of the Interior (Land Management) and US Forest Service.

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It was an amazing opportunity to network and we had many interesting discussions that we used to share a wide diversity of experience. Having access to this wealth of knowledge was particularly helpful when we were problem solving during the simulated drill. And what a drill it was! Twenty-five miles of oiled riverbank, plus oiled ducks and BEAVERS and potentially endangered tiger salamanders and western pond turtles. Oh my! At least we didn’t recover any bears! Yet even with these curve balls, our amazing teams set to work and developed sound equipment and staffing plans for Hazing, Wildlife Recovery, Field Stabilization and even a mobile Primary Care Center.

THIS IS A DRILL! Map of the Kangaroo River Oil Spill Drill for the Arcata Basic Responder Training

So the OWCN staff would like to thank all the participants for taking the time to attend the Basic Responder Training. We are NOT looking forward to a spill, but are really excited to know that those of you who just completed the Arcata training will be joining the ranks of responders who are ready to grab their Go Bags and help save wildlife in the event of a real spill. Thank you for your dedication, expertise and willingness to help!

If you belong to an OWCN Member Organization or Affiliated Agency and are interested in attending a future Basic Responder Training, please check your Responder Profile for more information. If you have further questions please contact either Becky Elias ( or Stephanie Herman (

Happy training!



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