U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
Spotlight on Partners: Student Conservation Association - WildCorps Program
The BLM has entered into a private and federal partnership with the Student Conservation Association (SCA) to reconnect America's youth with the wild outdoors. The BLM and SCA signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 2005 that would train a cadre of youth leaders that would enhance public lands by providing on-the-ground WildCorps youth crews to address management concerns such as trail construction and maintenance, invasive weed eradication, restoration of degraded lands and reclamation of old roads, dump sites and mining scars on National Landscape Conservation System lands. These BLM treasured landscapes include National Monuments, Wilderness Areas, Wilderness Study Areas, National Scenic and Historic Trails and Wild and Scenic Rivers.
Over the past four years, the WildCorps Program has been a huge success and hundreds of youth have benefited from the program by providing a means for America's youth to reconnect with their natural and cultural heritage while tapping into a new generation of wildland stewards. Since the program's inception, the Bureau has saved thousands of dollars by utilization of these highly mobile youth crews to work in some of the most remote and pristine locations on public lands in California.
A six person WildCorps crew started work on June 10 in the King Range National Conservation Area and have completed six weeks of arduous work rebuilding trails and restoration of lands in the remote Lost Coast of northern California. Additional conservation work is planned over the next 3-4 weeks that will include invasive plant removal, signing of wilderness boundaries, restoration of degraded lands and campsite maintenance in the King Range National Conservation Area and other NLCS units in northern and central California.
- Mark A. Conley, Wilderness/NLCS Program Manager, BLM-California, 7/24/09