Public Lands Service Coalition Holds a National Summit on 21st Century Conservation Service Corps

On November 15th, The Public Lands Service Coalition (PLSC) invited a wide range of public and private sector leaders to a National Summit on the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps (21CSC) in Washington, DC. Participants learned more about the 21CSC Federal Advisory Committee’s recommendations and also provided their input on implementation of the 21CSC.

PLSC members – Destry Jarvis, Harry Bruell, Mary Ellen Ardouny, Parc Smith and Scott Weaver – conducted a presentation on the background and capacity of Corps as well as key recommendations of the Federal Advisory Committee and an explanation of current "industry" efforts to implement a national accreditation process.

There were several additional speakers including Mary McCabe, a graduate of the Texas Conservation Corps (American YouthWorks), spoke about her experience serving in a Corps and how it is has affected her life.

Tim Harvey, Chief of the National Park Service (NPS) Park Facility Management Division, provided a presentation of the NPS’s efforts to increase the use of Corps to complete projects for the NPS.

Michael Gale, Director of the Department of The Interior (DOI) Office of Youth, Partnerships & Service, spoke about the DOI’s efforts to respond to the Committee’s report, manage the signing of an inter-fepartmental MOU to establish the 21CSC and the National Council, and coordinate an official launch of the 21CSC.

Merlene Mazyck, US Forest Service (USFS) Program Manager of Volunteers and Service, spoke about USFS’s efforts to support the 21CSC by expanding its partnerships with youth programs, supporting HistoriCorps projects and adding a youth employment focus to the USFS Youth Alliance.

The PLSC will continue to support the launch and implementation of the 21CSC as a bold national effort to put thousands of America’s young people and veterans to work protecting, restoring, and enhancing America’s great outdoors!

San Bernardino National Forest Association Urban Conservation Corps Wins U.S. Forest Service Regional Forester's Honor Award

The Angeles and the San Bernardino National Forest (s) in partnership with the SBNFA Urban Conservation Corps and the U.S. Forest Service Southern California Consortium are the recipients of the Region 5 Regional Forester’s Honor Award. They are being presented with this award for their joint efforts in developing and implementing a Wilderness Spike Crew Project that trains corpsmembers from diverse, underrepresented communities from both San Bernardino and Riverside Counties to conduct wilderness GPS monitoring, inventorying and restoration on National Forest System lands in Southern California. 

The existence of a wilderness crew of urban young adults comprised of Latinos, African Americans and Pacific Islander to help manage wilderness areas by collecting data and developing and collect data on the National Forest is rare and nontraditional. This project truly embraces the spirit of promoting diversity and civil rights on National Forest System lands in Southern California.

The Urban Conservation Corps would like to thank the many supporters that continue to help provide opportunities to underserve youth so they can become employable citizens, assets to their communities and the next generation of stewards of the land. On November 28, 2012 we will be attending the Honors Award at the Hyatt-Regency Sacramento. Attached is a picture from one of the weeks the crew was in the wilderness.

The UCC will like to Give Special Thanks to:

Elwood York, U.S. Forest Service Wilderness Office, Washington D.C
Jody Noiron, Forest Supervisor San Bernardino National Forest
Tom Contreras, Forest Supervisor Angeles National Forest
L’Tanga Watson, U.S. Forest Service, Angeles National Forest
Gabe Garcia, U.S. Forest Service, San Bernardino National Forest
Larry Lawrence, Arrowhead Mountain Spring Water
Fabian Garcia, U.S. Forest Service, Southern California Consortium
Gerry Lopez, Riverside County District Attorney’s Office
Sarah Miggins, Southern California Mountains Foundation, Executive Director
The Wilderness Society

President Obama Endorses Forest Service's Job Corps as "America's Green Job Corps"

 




Oconaluftee JCCCC Forestry Conservation students and Instructor help repair a retaining wall in trail rehabilitation work on the Cheoah Ranger District in Robbinsville. Shown (left-right) are Crystal Adu, Instructor Darrell McDaniels, Anthony Brown, and Steven Morris. (Photo courtesy of Holly Krake/OJCCCC)

From the Cherokee Feather

The new green curriculum of the Forest Service’s Job Corps will expand employment opportunities for its graduates, help revitalize local economies in rural communities and enhance the mission of the agency, U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell said on Friday, June 24.

“The Forest Service congratulates high school and college students far and wide who are graduating this month, and we are especially proud of our own graduates of the Forest Service Job Corps centers,” said Tidwell.

“Our students have completed valuable, hands-on projects giving them excellent tools to pursue career paths in green jobs while also creating life-long connections with America’s great outdoors.”

Recognizing the program’s efforts in green jobs training, President Obama has endorsed them as America’s Green Job Corps. At present, the Forest Service is awaiting final authorization from the Department of Agriculture for the go-ahead to directly hire Job Corps graduates to perform on land stewardship projects — a process which is expected to put hundreds of the program’s graduates to work before fall.

Locally, the Oconaluftee Job Corps Civilian Conservation Center in Cherokee has implemented green training and conservation ideals across each of its training programs including Forestry Conservation and Wildland Firefighting, Office and Business Administration, and Health Occupations.

“Green training is not something we teach- it’s who we are” said Liaison Specialist for Oconaluftee, Holly Krake. “This summer we graduated over 25 students who trained on sites across the region putting these skills to use”.

Projects throughout western North Carolina include transplanting culturally significant rivercane with Western Carolina University in Cherokee, education trail construction with the Watershed Association for the Tuckasegee River in Dillsboro and trail revitalization on the Cheoah Ranger District in Robbinsville.

“Our graduates are skilled, trained, and competing well in the job market, military, and higher education. At the end of the day, Job Corps is just that- assisting our youth in getting jobs” Krake says.

The Oconaluftee Job Corps Civilian Conservation Center is associated with the National Forests of North Carolina and currently serves 68 students. The USDA Forest Service operates 28 Job Corps Civilian Conservation Centers across 18 states with a capacity of 6,200 students. 

In the last 12 months the centers have graduated 4,263 students, better preparing them to enter the job market. Historically, approximately 80 percent of Job Corps graduates have started new careers, enrolled in higher education programs or have enlisted in the military.

“Forest Service Job Corps centers provide the education, vocational instruction, and job skills training necessary to obtain gainful employment and earn a living wage,” explained Tony Dixon, the National Director of Forest Service Job Corps.

“Job Corps students are making Forest Service facilities and operations sustainable, lowering its operating costs, reducing our carbon footprint, and restoring terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems,” Dixon emphasized.

The centers directly contribute to the agency’s mission of conserving the nation’s national forests and grasslands. Job Corps students have fought forest fires, planted trees, improved wildlife habitat and built or maintained recreation facilities and miles of hiking trails.

The mission of the U.S. Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world.