Home Youth service U.S. Forest Service youth program deadlines next month

U.S. Forest Service youth program deadlines next month

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HELENA – Two different Forest Service summer programs not only offer great experience and fun, but also the opportunity to start a career in nature conservation and conservation.

“I really believe it’s important for everyone to care about these forest lands and really understand their value, because they’ll be the ones who will be voting and making the decisions that will impact these lands,” says Liz Burke, educator in Conservation on the Helena-Lewis & Clark National Forest, and the Program Manager for the Youth Forest Watch Program.

the Youth Forest Watch Program and Youth Conservation Corps are accepting applications for their summer programs.

The monitoring program works with high school students to not only learn about forest ecology, but also to monitor forest health and engage with natural resource professionals. The program has been active for more than two decades and collects data that is used by the Forest Service.

The Conservation Corps program is for youth ages 15-18 who are interested in conservation work in the White Sulfur Springs Ranger District. Participants will work on jobs such as trail maintenance, campground maintenance, fencing construction and painting.

Many teenagers who work in these kinds of programs go on to work either with the forest service or in related fields. Liz Burke tells me that in fact, six of her colleagues were actually in the same surveillance program.

And that according to their most recent survey, more than 60% of former participants in the monitoring program work in a related field.

Mike Kaiser, fire management officer for the Helena Ranger District, is one such person. He participated in the monitoring program in 2000, which helped guide his work with the Forest Service.

“It provided a good springboard and a lot of good experience in working outdoors and getting to know some people and getting to know the landscape around Helena, Kaiser said. “You get to see a lot of different resource areas and get a little taste of each one. And so, you know, I think that helps you see where your interest really lies,” Kaiser says.

The deadline to apply for the Watchdog program is April 8 and April 15 for the Conservation Corps program.