Bureau of Reclamation Selects 16 Entities for Youth Conservation and Youth Intern Partnership Programs

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The master cooperative agreements cover five years and will speed up award funding for youth programs as projects become available. Eleven entities have been selected to enter into a cooperative agreement for the placement of youth interns and 10 entities have been selected to enter into a cooperative agreement for youth conservation crews.

Three young men stand with logs in front of Lake Cascade Reservoir.

More than two dozen Youth Conservation Corps crews aged 16-19 from Northwest Youth Corps spent five weeks clearing wood debris felled by a windstorm at Reclamation's Lake Cascade Reservoir in Idaho.

Young people seeking a career that connects with America’s outdoors truly benefit from real-world experiences that provide on-the-job training in resource management issues.

Reclamation selected 16 entities from throughout the United States to participate in its youth conservation and youth intern partnership programs. The master cooperative agreements cover five years and will speed up award funding for youth programs as projects become available. No funding is associated or guaranteed with these agreements.

"Young people seeking a career that connects with America’s outdoors truly benefit from real-world experiences that provide on-the-job training in resource management issues," Commissioner Estevan López said. "These new agreements with grass-roots conservation and internship programs support Secretary Sally Jewell's 'Let's Move! Outside' initiative. It is one more way we seek to inspire millions of young people to play, learn, serve and work outdoors."

Since 2010, Reclamation has entered into more than 15 cooperative agreements with several youth organizations throughout its 17 western state jurisdiction. These cooperative agreements supported about 800 youth opportunities.

Eleven entities have been selected to enter into a cooperative agreement for the placement of youth interns and 10 entities have been selected to enter into a cooperative agreement for youth conservation crews. Five of these entities will have cooperative agreements under both programs. The entities were selected in a competitive process through two funding opportunity announcements released in September.

The following 11 entities have been selected for placement in youth intern partnership programs:

● Conservation Legacy, Durango, Colorado
● Greening Youth Foundation, Inc., Atlanta, Georgia
● Hispanic Access Foundation, Washington, D.C.
● Mobilize Green, Inc., Washington, D.C.
● The Student Conservation Association, Inc., Charlestown, New Hampshire
● The Great Basin Institute, Reno, Nevada
● ACE Epic Internship Program, Flagstaff, Arizona
● Montana Conservation Corps, Bozeman, Montana
● Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, San Antonio, Texas
● Northwest Youth Corps, Eugene, Oregon
● Minority Access Incorporated, Hyattsville, Maryland

Participants in Reclamation’s youth intern program will build understanding and appreciation of natural and cultural resources and learn how to maintain and manage these resources.

The following 10 entities have been selected for placement in youth conservation crews:

● Utah Conservation Corps, Utah State University, Logan, Utah
● Conservation Legacy, Durango, Colorado
● California Conservation Corps, Sacramento, California
● American Conservation Experience, Flagstaff, Arizona
● The Student Conservation Association, Inc., Charlestown, New Hampshire
● Northwest Youth Corps, Eugene, Oregon
● Fresno County Economic Opportunities Commission, Fresno, California
● American Youthworks, Austin, Texas
● Rocky Mountain Youth Corps, Taos, New Mexico
● Montana Conservation Corps, Bozeman, Montana

Youth conservation crew participants will perform conservation projects on Reclamation lands and assist Reclamation with performing research and public education tasks associated with natural and cultural resources.

Partnering entities must provide a minimum of 25 percent of the total project costs in funding or in-kind support. Reclamation will collaborate with the recipients to create and manage individual projects. To learn more about the Reclamation's youth program, please visit http://www.usbr.gov/youth.

This work is part an overall strategy by the Obama Administration to connect young people to nature. The Department of the Interior is leading First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move! Outside” initiative getting millions of young people to play, learn, serve and work in America’s great outdoors and actively involved in promoting and supporting President Obama's “Every Kid in A Park” program providing all fourth grade students and their families with free admission to national parks and other public lands and waters for a full year.

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Peter Soeth
Bureau of Reclamation
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