The 21st Century Conservation Service Corps was born with the Interior Department’s announcement of a program that provides youth conservation jobs and mentorships for various projects, including three in Nevada.
The $4.2 million in grants for the corps, a collaborative that will protect, restore and enhance national parks and other wildlife refuges, provides conservation jobs and mentorships on public lands for more than 600 youths and young adults nationwide.
The grants help advance President Barack Obama’s Great Outdoors Initiative — introduced in 2010 as a modern approach to conservation and outdoor recreation — by increasing employment among young adults, according to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell.
“This initiative is a model of how public-private partnerships can both conserve our land and provide opportunities for our young people to obtain job skills and broaden their horizons by connecting with the great outdoors,” the former CEO of REI said.
The competitive grants, funded primarily through the Bureau of Land Management and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, were awarded to 22 projects throughout the West, including three in Nevada:
■ The Reclamation and Nevada Conservation Corps Collaborative will restore habitats and maintain trails along the Colorado River between Boulder City and Laughlin.
■ The Youth Restoration of Forests and Rangelands in Nevada will employ a 10-person crew to enhance 850 acres of sage grouse habitats on Carson City District BLM lands.
■ The Walker River Youth Conservation Initiative, a partnership between the conservation district and the Rite of Passage School in Mason Valley, will educate at-risk youth in ecology and natural resource conservation, providing employment to eight to 10 students who successfully complete the classes.
Since 2009, the department’s Office of Youth in the Great Outdoors has employed more than 84,000 youth on public lands. It plans to add this year nearly 17,000 jobs and provide 1,000 volunteer opportunities.
Contact Melissah Yang at email@example.com or 702-383-0491.