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Phoenix District Office
Release Date: 05/23/14
Contacts: Pamela Mathis 602.402.7690 / 623.580.5509    

Developing Arizona's Next Generation of Conservationists
BLM Arizona Receives Grant to Hire Youth

(PHOENIX, AZ)— The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), in partnership with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Arizona announces new opportunities for youth, aged 18-21, to work in America’s great outdoors.

As part of the Department of the Interior’s ambitious youth initiative to inspire millions of young adults and veterans to play, learn, serve and work in the great outdoors and the President's 21st Century Conservation Service Corps Initiative, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today announced $6.7 million in grants to support conservation employment and mentoring opportunities at 43 projects on public lands across the country – a 60 percent  increase over last year’s funding.

“We are honored that the BLM Arizona is a grant recipient. We are leveraging grant funds to educate and employ urban youth through our Arizona Youth Initiative,” confirmed BLM Arizona State Director Raymond Suazo. 

The BLM Phoenix District applied for and received $75,000 to enhance its Field School, a 16- week program that educates and trains underserved youth who get paid while earning occupational certificates and college credits. “With this grant, the BLM will bring on eight youth and two crew leaders, who will build about 1,000 feet of new hiking trails around Phoenix; rebuild 1,300 feet of existing trails; improve deer habitat by removing 3,350 feet of fence; enhance the BLM Sonoran Desert National Monument by clearing debris; conduct official bird surveys; and collect data along the Agua Fria River and Burro Creek. By the end of the Field School semester, the youth will have hiked 130 miles of Arizona public lands,” according to BLM Phoenix District Manager Mary D’Aversa. The BLM will also offer a paid internship to one of the Field School graduates for longer-term employment.

The BLM recruits youth through its partners, the Maricopa County and Phoenix Workforce Boards and Arizona-Call-a-Youth-Teen-Resources.

By August, the youth will be in Arizona’s great outdoors to learn, serve, and work.

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 mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

Last updated: 05-23-2014