04/03/2019: "SJI Park Seeks “Fox Brigade” Volunteers"
(J. Cory photo)
San Juan Island National Historical Park is seeking volunteers for a Fox Brigade to help protect the foxes and their spring kits in the American Camp prairie. This area has become a major destination site to see the newborn fox kits in recent years.
Individuals interested can stop by the American Camp Visitor Center for an open house meeting on Thursday, April 11th at 10:00 am for more information and to sign up.
A rise in use of Instagram and other social media platforms that geo-tag the location resulted in tremendous growth in visitation. Unfortunately, with the larger numbers, some visitors disturb the natural and wild state of the animals in pursuit of getting close-up photos by placing themselves too close to the foxes and baiting them out of their dens with food.
The park is aiming to be proactive in an effort to protect the foxes by enlisting the assistance of local residents. Volunteer Fox Brigade team members will spend shifts educating visitors and photographers about the foxes and assist them in keeping a safe distance while practicing high standards of wildlife viewing. The goal is to tackle potential conflicts between visitors and wildlife with a proactive, educational approach than reacting to problems after they occur.
Volunteer positions will be managed through the park’s Volunteers-in-Parks (VIP) program. VIPs will be issued a National Park Service Volunteer uniform while working. Individuals will sign up for shifts that fit their schedules while committing to a minimum of two, four-hour shifts each month through the spring.