Wildsight YCC, West Kootenay
Autumn 2021 Cohort
Kate Watt has spent most of her life on the traditional and unceded lands of the Sinixt, Ktunaxa, and Syilx peoples. Currently, she's a student at the University of British Columbia. When she's not studying, Kate enjoys reading, writing, hiking, and spending time outdoors with her friends and family. Kate is also part of the board of directors of YCCBC.
I joined the YCC for two reasons. First, I wanted practical work experience and an opportunity to explore my interests. The YCC delivered on both fronts by providing valuable training and experience in a variety of climate-related fields. Second, I joined because I was tired of feeling powerless in the face of climate change; I was tired of being told to take individual actions like taking shorter showers and walking more often. Climate change is a systemic problem that requires systemic solutions. To me, the YCC seemed like the perfect opportunity to take collective and impactful action within my community.
Wildfire risk reduction: our crew helped decrease the risk of severe wildfires by reducing fuel load in West Arm Provincial Park.
Food security: our crew applied the principles of permaculture by designing the layout of a community forest and garden outside the town of New Denver.
Self-directed project: I partnered with two others in my cohort to organize a panel discussion on local solutions to climate change.
Certifications & Training Received
Certifications: S-100: Basic Fire Suppression and Safety | WHMIS | Bear Aware | First Aid Level 1
Training: Chainsaw safety and maintenance | Permaculture principles and design
From YCC to Success
I’ve worked in a number of positions which my experience with the YCC helped me obtain. Such positions include:
Wildland firefighter with the BC Wildfire Service
Summer assistant with the Green Budget Coalition
Project assistant with the Kimberley-Cranbrook Food Hub
While I’ve since returned to school to finish my undergraduate degree in International Relations at the University of British Columbia, my experience with the YCC and in these other positions has been invaluable.