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Youth & Veterans Caring for the Land and Serving the People

Featured Projects

National Forest Foundation Indoor Internship for College Youth

Two youth at the Washington Monumnent
Youth Intern working at the computer

A Department of Agriculture partnership with the National Forest Foundation provided an opportunity for the Forest Service to engage a skilled college student with a paid internship to assist with important projects. In the summer of 2014, Patrick Walters traveled to our Washington, D.C. office to become the Recreation Fee Program intern..

“I was selected to be in the Demmer Scholar Program at Michigan State University by former Undersecretary of the [Department of Agriculture], Mark Rey,” said Patrick. “Through the interview process, I made it clear that I had a passion for spending time outdoors as well as for politics and policy formation, and the opening at the [Forest Service] seemed to be the logical choice for me.”  The Demmer Scholar Program connected him with the Forest Service opportunity through the National Forest Foundation.

Patrick spent the summer compiling data for reviewing fee proposals, editing and proofreading potential new legislation, helping to strategize for our agency’s position on various law suits, and attending interagency conferences.   A highlight of Patrick’s internship is his attendance to a House Committee on Natural Resources markup meeting for newly introduced legislation.  He plans to earn a degree at Michigan State University in International Relations, specializing in Science, Technology, and Environmental Public Policy, before finding a job in a natural resources arena (perhaps with the Forest Service) and work while getting a Master’s degree.

The Bridging Cultures Conservation Corps

Participants gather together for a group photo.
Bridging Cultures Conservation Corps crew members, along with MCC and Forest Service staff, work side-by-side with Montana Senator Max Baucus on the Glacier View Mountain Trail, Hungry Horse/Glacier View Ranger Districts, Flathead National Forest, in August 2013.

In partnership with the Montana Conservation Corps (MCC), Region 1 established the Bridging Cultures Conservation Corps (BCCC). Targeting underserved youth and open to all, the program provided students completing college degrees with hands-on natural resource related work experiences.

The goal of the program is to foster students' interest in pursuing natural resource careers with the Forest Service as well as provide background and training to successfully obtain a position. Upon satisfactory completion of 640 hours of qualifying work experience BCCC participants qualify for a time limited non-competitive hiring status.

Accomplishments in 2013 included trail construction and maintenance, hazardous tree removal, fencing, fire rehabilitation, noxious weed removal, insect and disease surveys and monitoring, wildlife surveys, installation of interpretive signs/exhibits, archeological preservation, and tree planting.

Greening Youth Foundation Partners with the Forest Service to Employ Young People

Participants gather together for a group photo.

In 2013, college and high school students learned firsthand about natural and cultural resources. A youth employment workforce partnership with the Greening Youth Foundation provided them an opportunity to work alongside Forest Service professionals. Participants recruited from underrepresented communities between the ages of 16 and 25 served on crews or as interns/resource assistants on projects in Regions 8 and 9. The service these budding conservation stewards provided was wide ranging.

Interns on the Tuskegee National Forest executed timber stands, collected inventory and data on timber species, and documented Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data on special timber species. Another group focused on the architectural and archival research and documentation of select historic structures, building, and features throughout Region 9. Service crews on the Chattahoochee-Oconee and Talladega National Forests performed facility maintenance, trail work, timber inventory, and invasive plant eradication.

Youth Conservation Corps on the Chippewa National Forest (Deer River, Minnesota, summer 2013)

"What a great summer job!" commented one of the high school aged youth employed by the Chippewa National Forest.

Summer 2013, the Chippewa National Forest Deer River Ranger District in Minnesota hosted eight youth ages 15 to 18 in the paid summer employment Youth Conservation Corps program, to accomplish forest management goals, including removing invasive species, clearing brush, picking up trash, trimming back bush, and planting elm trees to increase tree diversity.

As well as learning about land management and stewardship, environmental education, natural environment heritage, natural resource related education programs at Itasca Community College, and local historical forests; they also learned job skills, such as getting to work on time, working for a supervisor as a team and as individuals.

US Forest Service
Last modified January 07, 2015

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