U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT NEWS RELEASE
|Release Date: 05/18/12|
Obama Administration to Hire 20,000 Young People for Summer Work on Public Lands (05-18-12)
Vilsack, Salazar, Sutley Announce $3.7 Million in Competitive Grants for New or Expanded Youth Corps
WASHINGTON, D.C. and SANTA MONICA MOUNTAINS, CA – In response to President Obama’s call to expand opportunities for summer employment for young people and connect them with the great outdoors, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, and Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality Nancy Sutley today highlighted summer work opportunities for more than 20,000 young people, ages 15-25, in national forests, national parks, wildlife refuges and other public lands.
Salazar and Sutley are kicking off the summer work season at an event in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area in California, where they are being joined by members of the Los Angeles Conservation Corps and the California Conservation Corps, representing the many corps partners working with USDA and DOI to provide summer work and training opportunities for young people.
On the East Coast, USDA Under Secretary for Natural Resources and the Environment Harris Sherman and U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell kicked off the season at an event celebrating volunteers and other partners who are critical to connecting Americans to the great outdoors. They were joined by representatives from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) to announce, along with Salazar and Sutley, $3.7 million in competitive grants for 20 projects across the country that will put more than 500 young people from diverse backgrounds and experiences to work on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands and national forests and grasslands this summer work season.
This competitive grant initiative is being funded with $1.4 million from the BLM and the Forest Service, matched by $2.3 million raised by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation from private partners through the America’s Great Outdoors: Developing the Next Generation of Conservationists initiative.
“President Obama’s call to expand summer job opportunities for young people is helping us engage and train the next generation of natural resource professionals and build a workforce that represents all of America,” said Salazar, who is visiting a youth conservation corps that is conducting trail and habitat restoration in the Santa Monica Mountains. “These first experiences building trails, clearing out hazardous fuels, or cleaning up rivers not only equip young people with skills for a new career, but can also awaken a love for the outdoors that lasts a lifetime.” Since Secretary Salazar established youth employment as a high priority performance goal, Interior has employed 35% more young people each year since Fiscal Year 2009.
"This program is putting youth to work and making our nation's public lands more accessible," said Vilsack. "With 80 percent of our country now living in urban areas, it is through partnerships like these that we are finding opportunities for Americans to work, live and play on our forests and grasslands and experience America's Great outdoors."
“Through the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative, the Obama Administration has made it a priority to support communities connecting American youth with the health, economic and recreational benefits of being outdoors,” Sutley said. “This summer jobs campaign will link youth with opportunities to gain valuable work experience, grow our economy, and protect and appreciate our extraordinary natural resources.”
“This public-private partnership will help bring young people from diverse backgrounds and urban areas to the public lands for meaningful employment opportunities, mentorships, and the joy of the great outdoors,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. “This is a perfect example of how we can team up to help foster the next generation of conservationists.”
The 20 projects announced today are below. Additional details are available here.
Alaska, California, and Colorado:
• Sierra Native Youth Conservation Corps: At least 12 Sierra Native American youth will tackle conservation projects in the Forest Service’s Hope and Indian Valley Meadows, and the BLM’s Stocking Flat and Tribute Trail in Nevada City. Training on tribal language skills, native conservation restoration techniques and researching traditional use of resources and ceremonial significance of sites will also be provided. $37,000 Forest Service; $37,500 BLM; $75,000 non-federal funds.
• Nick’s Interns: The Mattole Restoration Council will provide 30 paid conservation internships for high school and college-age young people on projects on the King’s Range National Conservation Area and adjacent lands. Project activities will be guided by established management plans and improve grassland, estuarine, and forest habitats as well as riparian and in-stream conditions on the Mattole River and its headwaters tributaries. $50,050 BLM; $50,000 non-federal funds.
• Promoting Careers in Southern California: At-risk youth from the Los Angeles Conservation Corps will learn about conservation by helping to remove invasive species and plant native species on the San Bernardino and Angeles National Forests and on BLM preserves within the Coachella Valley in Southern California. $50,000 Forest Service; $50,000 BLM; $100,000 non-federal funds.*
• Sangre de Cristo Youth for Conservation: The Forest Service will hire at least 20 youth from Costilla and Conejos counties to work on the Rio Grande National Forest and San Luis Valley Bureau of Land Management. The youth will work on high-priority conservation projects such as riparian restoration, surveying bark beetle disturbance and mapping osha, a culturally significant herbal plant. $12,769 Forest Service; $11,000 BLM; $23,769 non-federal funds.
• Southwest Conservation Corps, Delores River Restoration: The Southwest Conservation Corps and Delores River Restoration Partnership is a three-year-old private/public collaboration that is part of the Walton Family Foundation’s Freshwater Conservation Initiative. The project will involve 70 to 80 crew members for conservation work along Disappointment Creek, a major tributary in BLM’s Uncompahgre District in Southwest Colorado. $80,000 BLM; $412,000 non-federal funds.
Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee
Kentucky and Indiana
• Tillamook Coho Stream Restoration Project: The Tillamook School District will partner with the BLM to monitor Coho salmon stream restoration sites and collect data to assess the effectiveness of ongoing stream restoration on the Wilson, Nestucca, and Trask Rivers. A crew of one adult leader and five youth members, will work on will conduct aquatic invertebrate sampling, riparian fence monitoring, fish habitat evaluation, water quality sampling and analysis, and photo-point monitoring. $42,570 BLM; $77,500 non-federal funds.
• Klamath Basin Stewardship Project: The Northwest Youth Corps will hire 50 local youth, at least 40 percent from the Klamath Tribe, to work on riparian fence building, invasive species removal, native plantings, survey completions and data management, and public lands access management. This project supports the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Upper Klamath Basin Keystone Initiative by implementing high priority stewardship projects near the city of Klamath Falls, the Wood and Sprague River systems and the Williamson Delta. $99,995 BLM; $108,073 non-federal funds.
* These three pilot projects were previous announced in December 2011 when the America’s Great Outdoors: Developing the Next Generation of Conservationists grant program was announced.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's multiple-use mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2012, activities on public lands generated $4.6 billion in revenue, much of which was shared with the States where the activities occurred. In addition, public lands contributed more than $112 billion to the U.S. economy and helped support more than 500,000 jobs.
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|Last updated: 05-21-2012|
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