Tonto National Forest – Superstition Wilderness Trail Maintenance
Tonto NF Superstition Wilderness, outside Phoenix, AZ
This is our pilot crew for our Native Wilderness Corps! We’ve got an inter-tribal crew of four working on trails in the Superstition Wilderness of the Tonto National Forest. This crew will be receiving wilderness and trails training from the Tonto NF as well as a career workshop in partnership with ASU. They will also be participating in the Salt River Indian Community’s Earth Day of Service on April 12. We expect our members to leave our program with resources that will support them in long term employment and success within the conservation and natural resource management fields while also gaining personal and professional development that will benefit them in any endeavor. Our program also supports these individuals with further opportunities in leadership positions and internships/individual placement positions if they choose to continue their service with AZCC. Each member has made a significant commitment to this program and should be recognized for their dedication.
Phoenix Urban Crew: Maricopa County
Lake Pleasant trail system, Maricopa County
This is an Opportunity Youth Urban Crew, selected from young adults ages 18-25 who were not in school and not in work prior to the program, which provides them with job training, professional development, life skills, and a strategies for college success class at Glendale Community College. Members will leave the program more prepared to successfully complete post-secondary education or vocational training and find and retain meaningful employment. The crew is building 22 miles of new trail around Lake Pleasant, working along side a county work crew, gaining new technical skills, focusing on leadership development, and studying to successfully complete the 3 credit CPD 150 class at Glendale Community College and receive their AmeriCorps education award to continue their education following the program.
Grand Canyon Trail Maintenance
Grand Canyon National Park
Our crew is working alongside Grand Canyon staff to improve and maintain the hiking trail system. After 20 weeks in the canyon we expect them to have a well-rounded skill set and improved appreciation of hard work that goes into managing the country’s most popular National Park. We also expect them to have a serious leg up in landing Park Service jobs in the future and are encouraged by the Park Service staffs cooperation toward that goal.
USFS CCC BCHC Partnership to maintain trails and supply the Wilderness trail
Trinity Alps Wilderness on the Shasta Trinity NF in R-5
The Shasta Trinity unit of BCHC
1) Provides a minimum of 300 stock days per season ( May through September )for the weekly wilderness camp resupplies, and 3- 4 backcountry camp moves throughout the season.
Each camp move requires 20 – 25 pack mules and each weekly resupply requires 8-10 pack mules, packers and logistic support.
2) The Shasta Trinity unit also helps clear and log out the 550 miles of wilderness trails in the Trinity Alps wilderness.
3) The Shasta Trinity also assists other adjacent National Forests and National Parks including Lassen National park, Modoc, Mendocino, Klamath and Shasta Trinity NF.
CCC Backcountry Trails Program – a National AmeriCorps Program
State Parks, Yosemite & Kings Canyon National Parks; Klamath, Shasta Trinity, Stanislaus National Forests
The Backcountry Trails Program was established in 1979, as a special program within the California Conservation Corps. The Backcountry Trails Program is also part of AmeriCorps and thus our members are part of a national service movement that focuses on environmental conservation. A proud tradition of excellence and conservation has been forged by the many members who have played a vital role helping to build, maintain and repair almost 10,800 miles trails in some of California’s most magnificent wilderness areas.
Each spring, the Backcountry Trails Program assembles six crews of men and women, from widely diverse backgrounds, who leave behind the conveniences and luxuries of modern life and venture into the mountains to spend five exhausting months doing some of the most challenging and ultimately rewarding work of their lives.
Partners provide technical training and project direction and some provide pack support. The Backcountry Horsemen of California provides pack support to CCC crew, transporting food, supplies and mail in and out of the remote locations.
Corpsmembers learn through experience the skills of trail maintenance, construction, and the process of building healthy productive communities. Members are based at remote wilderness locations throughout California, perform physically demanding manual labor in a variety of intense conditions, and live as an active part of a tight-knit and diverse community. In addition to trail work, corpsmembers participate in regular camp chores, position-related trainings, physical training, daily curriculum and education, environmental awareness, cooperative living skills and exploration of surrounding wilderness areas.
Corpsmembers are recruited from the CCC, Local Conservation Corps and from across the country. Many Backcountry Trail Program graduates move into positions with sponsoring agencies and most trail workers for these agencies got their start with the Backcountry Trails Program.
Scenic Byways Grant Lassen Peak Trail Construction Project
Lassen National Park California
The project will involve the reconstruction of 2 to 3 multi tiered dry stone, side hill retaining walls that are currently failing along the first mile of the Lassen Peak Trail. Quarrying of stone utilizing gas powered rock drills and transport of quarried stone utilizing gas powered track carriers will be involved with this project, as well as the possible use of grip hoist rigging equipment to move large building stones. 2 National Park Service employees will be assigned as full time agency sponsors to this crew. Crews will camp in an established front country car camp tentatively located at Crags Campground. Funding for this project will suffice for one full crew for the entire Peak Trail work season which is determined by snow melt/ fall. The dates will be approximately June 1st to mid November weather dependent.
Caledon YCC Team
Developed four new boat-in campsites. These are the first overnight facilities at Caledon including tent pad, lantern post, and picnic tables. Removed rocks to make safer canoe and kayak landings at the City of Tappahannock. Trail clearing at Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge. Fence repair and brush clearing to open water viewshed at George Washington Birthplace National Monument.
C&O Canal Project
C&O Canal in West Virginia and Maryland
Citizens Conservation Corps of West Virginia’s C&O Canal Youth Crew maintains 63 miles of towpath in the Monocracy District of the C&O Canal. This area includes the Brunswick Visitor’s Center, Point of Rocks, Noland Ferry, and Edmunds Ferry; the Youth Crew helps to maintain the austere canal way by controlling brush and unwanted vegetation through landscaping of the highly popular visitor’s site.
New River Gorge National River
New River Gorge National River Area
Citizens Conservation Corps of West Virginia (CCCWV) partners with the National Park Service (NPS) at the New River Gorge National River, located in southern West Virginia. The park encompasses over 70,000 acres of land along 53 miles of the New River from Bluestone Dam to Hawk’s Nest Lake. The National Park Service strives to protect the rich cultural heritage of this area, which is evident in the remains of coal mining towns from another era scattered along the banks of the river. CCCWV manages multiple youth crews every year which are designed to enhance visitor experiences at the New River Gorge National River; these projects are a perfect platform for promoting the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps vision of putting America’s young people and veterans to work protecting, restoring, and enhancing America’s great outdoors. Our crews paint historic structures, stabilize buildings, complete maintenance work on hiking and biking trails, renovate trail bridges, build concrete boat ramps, preform landscaping duties, build restroom facilities, and complete restoration projects. Crew members also take part in interpretive internship opportunities with NPS Staff.
St. Croix National Scenic Riverway
This summer, youth will play in vital role in helping to protect biodiversity and improve visitors’ experience along the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway. The St. Croix River, with its proximity to the Twin Cities metropolitan area and federal designation as a Wild and Scenic River, is a popular outdoor recreation area for paddling, hiking, biking and birdwatching. Participants, ages 15-18, and young adult AmeriCorps members will work in crews of eight, along shoreline and public lands in this national park to remove invasive buckthorn and purple loosestrife that destroy native vegetation and critical habitat. Corpsmembers will also be involved with identifying and mapping threatened areas.
The St. Croix projects will engage a total of 60 diverse youth participants from Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa, a 21st Century Conservation Service Corps program operator, in partnership with the National Park Service. The projects will be completed over eight weeks of the 2014 the Summer Youth Corps program.
Kara Ulman, an AmeriCorps youth crew leader, spent a week working with her crew on the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway during a previous summer session. Despite the hard work, she said the youth understood how valuable their service was to the community. “This project was one of the most demanding projects we had physically. It was hot, and required a lot of work to chop down and haul buckthorn trees and honeysuckle plants of varying sizes,” she said. “One of my participants commented on how meaningful the project was to him because he felt that the work we were doing removing invasive species was really helping the environment.”
“This project is a powerful opportunity to connect diverse young people to the outdoors, while at the same time completing natural resource work that is valued by the community,” said Eric Antonson, Youth Programs Director. “The crew members develop critical 21st century skills and learn from National Park Service professionals. It is a life-changing experience for the young people involved.”
10 locations nationwide
In addition to protecting and managing America’s 401 national parks, the National Park Service (NPS) also operates programs that extend throughout the nation to connect all Americans to their parks, trails, rivers, and other special places. The Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance (RTCA) program helps community groups, nonprofits, state and local governments, and tribes plan parks and trails, conserve and improve access to rivers and natural areas, and create recreation opportunities through locally led partnerships.
NPS – Community Assistance Fellows will be placed with participating RTCA and related program sites and will be provided opportunities to receive training and experience. The NPS-Community Assistance Fellows Program introduces Fellows to NPS-RTCA sites to work in a mentored environment for a full year. Fellows will be helping RTCA staff organize, strategize, build public participation, and help implement conservation and/or recreation projects in their area.
Fellows will participate in a week-long training organized by the Natural Leaders program through the Children & Nature Network, and will receive an AmeriCorps educational stipend at the end of their term. The Children & Nature Network is leading the movement to connect all children, their families and communities to nature through innovative ideas, evidence-based resources and tools, broad-based collaboration and support of grassroots leadership. AmeriCorps is a national service organization, connecting thousands of Americans of all ages and backgrounds with the opportunity to serve their communities.
Yellowstone Urban Youth Engagement Project
Yellowstone National Park
Since 2012, Groundwork USA and the National Park Service have partnered on the Yellowstone Urban Youth Engagement Project, designed to provide skilled urban youth corps members from Groundwork communities across the US with opportunities to learn about Yellowstone National Park’s resources while completing week-long backlogged maintenance and other special projects there. After two highly successful summers, Groundwork is scaling up the Project in summer 2014 by engaging 50 Groundwork youth corps team members in two week-long programs centered around learning, serving, working, and playing at Yellowstone National Park.
Top-performing youth corps members and youth corps program leaders from five Groundwork communities (the majority of which are highly urbanized settings) were selected to work together at Yellowstone for the first time in August 2012. During that one-week engagement, 25 participating Groundwork youth and youth leaders from the northeastern United States utilized and improved their leadership and conservation skills by working with Yellowstone National Park staff, improving the park and addressing key long-term maintenance and resource protection issues. The inaugural Project was so successful that Yellowstone National Park asked Groundwork teams to return in August 2013. That second year, 25 Groundwork youth came from nine primarily urban communities across the country – Somerville, MA, Yonkers, NY, Bridgeport, CT, Washington, DC, Dallas, TX, Milwaukee, WI, , Denver, CO, Portland, OR, and Las Cruces, NM.
Like so many public lands, backlogged maintenance and other work projects are a major challenge for Yellowstone. The Yellowstone Youth Engagement Project seeks to address this challenge by engaging seasoned Groundwork USA youth corps crews in the application of their skills, attained in the urban realm, to more remote lands containing such backlogged maintenance projects as: maintaining and improving trails, removing brush, building or removing fencing, painting and staining buildings, re-vegetating disturbed land, and collecting native seed. Groundwork youth corps crews conduct this work using various hand tools such as Grip hoist, crosscut saw, axe, rake, Pulaski, pick mattock, shovel, rock bar, rock hammer and lopper, screwdrivers, and hand drills. The Project not only addresses deferred maintenance challenges on relatively remote and pristine American public lands; it also leverages the skill sets of underserved urban youth who are trained to tackle comparable projects on the job within their own communities. Finally, the Project provides skilled urban youth with access to and experience working on remote public lands in the far west, and direct employment pathways to future conservation careers.
To balance the urban-rural duality of participants’ experiences as part of this project, Groundwork makes an explicit effort to connect environmental awareness and social issues at Yellowstone with similar issues and concerns in the home communities of Groundwork team members. Youth corps participants report that the Project has provided meaningful work and life experience, and on-the-job training, at one of the nation’s premier public resources. By fostering within participants a deeper appreciation for land and resource stewardship, and offering technical and safety training alongside robust teambuilding opportunities, Groundwork youth are exposed to many conservation and environmental issues that are regularly addressed by park managers. Additionally, youth participants are provided with a more practical understanding of the NPS mission and how their work and education, set within the framework of the NPS-Groundwork USA partnership, serves and expands upon that mission.
Big Tujunga Canyon Restoration
Big Tujunga Canyon, Angeles National Forest
Roughly 1,000 square miles in size, the Angeles National Forest provides a scenic vista to the Los Angeles metropolitan area while providing important wildlife, recreation, and water values to the region. The forest provides Los Angeles County with approximately 33% of its drinking water and over 72% of its open space. Every year millions of visitors connect to the forest in their “backyard” to hike, swim, picnic, and enjoy this vast open space in Los Angeles County. The Los Angeles River originates high up in the Angeles National Forest and flows through highly urbanized areas touching the lives of many of the approximately 13 million residents that live within an hour’s drive of the forest.
In 2009, the Station Fire burned in the Angeles National Forest for two months ultimately damaging 252 square miles of the forest, affecting 35 local communities and costing over $95 million for the firefighting efforts alone. Since the fire, the U.S. Forest Service and the National Forest Foundation have been working diligently to improve conditions in the Angeles National Forest with a special focus on the Los Angeles River watershed. The LA Conservation Corps’ goal is to assist the Angeles National Forest to revitalize and restore Los Angeles’ backyard to protect this critical watershed and the drinking water it provides, while fostering meaningful connections between local residents and their National Forest.
At a finer scale, restoration actions will focus on the Big Tujunga Creek subwatershed, a tributary to the Los Angeles River watershed affected by the Station Fire. Big Tujunga Creek subwatershed, spanning 97,000 acres, or 14% of the forest, is a critical ecological, water supply and sediment control tributary located at the heart of the Station Fire burn area. The steep and narrow Big Tujunga Canyon’s rugged morphology is representative of the San Gabriel Mountains and highlights the beauty, intrinsic ecological values, and management challenges that face the Angeles National Forest.
Town of Brunswick, Kate Furbish Perserve
The project that the MCC Veteran Community Leader will be working on during his term of service is to assist in the initial development of portions of a new 5.5 mile trail system in Brunswick, Maine. The trails will be located upon the newly designated Kate Furbish Preserve property recently acquired by the Town of Brunswick from the U. S. Navy as part of a Public Benefit Conveyance process associated with the closure of the Brunswick Naval Air Station. The U. S. Department of the Interior sponsored the Town’s request for acquisition of the property which includes significant natural, cultural and historic resources and one of the largest un-fragmented and undeveloped pieces of tidal shore front remaining in Southern Maine.
Veteran Community Leader at Elliotsville Plantation, Inc.
Central and Northern Maine Woods
The Maine Conservation Corps has a Veteran Community Leader working with Elliotsville Plantation, Inc. (EPI) developing several trail systems. The work that Veteran Community Leader Andrew Mowry does will be the foundation of the recreation infrastructure within the conservation lands of EPI, a host site that is looking forward to the day that the lands are given to the people of the United States as a new National Park and National Recreation area. The branding of these lands as a National Park and National Recreation Area would increase tourism within the surrounding communities and provide much needed economic opportunities and growth.
Chief Hosa Bison Trail
MHYC crews will be constructing a new trail to expand access to the Patrick House Bison Viewing Area and the Chief Hosa campground. The finished 3500 foot natural surface trail will connect users from the Chief Hosa campground to the local bison habitat. Trail will be part of Genesee Park, one of 46 mountain parks owned by the City and County of Denver. MHYC Corpsmembers participating on the project are eligible for a $1,468 AmeriCorps Education Award upon successful completion of 450 hours of service.
Gates of the Mountain Trails Project
Meriwether Trail, Gates of the Mountain Wilderness, outside of Helena, MT
In 2007, a large fire burned over seven miles of the Meriwether Trail in the 28,560-acre Gates of the Mountains Wilderness. This trail begins at the Missouri River and climbs up steep switchbacks to great views of Sacagawea Mountain and the valley below. The area is of particular historic importance to Montana as Lewis and Clark traveled through, camped in, and wrote about the unique limestone cliffs towering over the river. The Meriwether Trail is also adjacent to Mann Gulch, the site of a 1949 wildfire tragedy that claimed the lives of 13 firefighters, which was documented in Norman Maclean’s book Young Men and Fire. Since the fire several years ago, severe mudslides have further damaged the trail and picnic site. Montana Conservation Corps crews will repair the damage to the trail and restore access for hikers and boaters to safely recreate in the area.
Frank Church River of No Return Horse Creek Trail Maintenance
Horse Creek Trail, Salmon-Challis National Forest
The Horse Creek Trail on the North Fork Ranger District of the Salmon-Challis National Forest was once a showcase trail. Due to budget constraints and major weather events, it has fallen into disrepair with fallen trees, overgrown corridors, and trail erosion. As a stem trail, the Horse Creek Trail is the only route into some remote areas of the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness, which is the second largest protected wilderness area in the lower 48. This summer, the Montana Conservation Corps will restore 14 miles of trail, repair drainage issues, and significantly improve access for local horse packers, outfitters, fishers, and hikers.
Devil’s Tower Trails
Devil’s Tower National Monument, WY
Devil’s Tower is a gigantic natural monolith jutting out of the rolling prairie that surrounds the Black Hills in northern Wyoming. The site was designated as the first U.S. National Monument in 1906. It is sacred to the Lakota and other Native American tribes in the area, many of whom use the area for ceremonial purposes today. Nearly 400,000 people visit annually to recreate in the beauty of the country and climb the vertical rock walls of the 1,267 foot tall formation. This summer, youth serving with the Montana Conservation Corps will help maintain safe public access to Devil’s Tower by removing invasive species, constructing fencing, and maintaining trails for visitors. The MCC crew will work closely with NPS staff and learn about the historical and geological significance of the monument while providing a lasting public benefit. A Veterans Green Corps crew will also reduce hazardous fuels to mitigate the risk of wildland fire, allowing members to continue their mission of service while developing technical competencies to pursue careers in natural resources.
Black Mountain Loop Trail
This project will construct the north branch of the Black Mountain Loop Trail, creating a loop system on Black Mountain and connecting to the Anthem East Trail system. The trail will be designated for hiking only, and will be approximately 2.9 miles in length. This project will involve some construction of rock retaining features along the route to traverse steep side slopes and to frame approximately 10 switchback and climbing turns. The trail will serve a large urban population, with infrared trail counters show over 46,000 visitors a year hike on the trails this will connect. Portions of this trail will be designated as a part of the Vegas Valley Rim Trail.
Interpretive Trail Restoration
Bridge Creek Wildlife Area, Oregon
This spring, students participating in the North Fork John Day Watershed Council’s community stewardship corps program are working on updating and restoring an interpretive trail at Bridge Creek Wildlife Area, an important elk wintering area outside Ukiah, Oregon. Working closely with staff from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, students are building a new bench to install on the trail and will be clearing and re-graveling the trail to improve accessibility. They are also learning about the management of the wildlife area and its native plant communities. Participant outcomes include learning about lumber milling and furniture construction, trail maintenance, wildlife management, and native plant communities, as well as gaining exposure to career opportunities with ODFW and learning more about their local natural resources.
Kelley Creek-Trail Relocation
Mt Baker-Snoqualmie NF/Skykomish RD
This project is grant supported and is currently 4 weeks in length. Over the course of the project 40 youth will take part in this important re-route and gain valuable skills. This project is scheduled to begin mid-July 2014
Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Trails
near Yallow Pine, ID
Heavy trail maintenance on approximately 8 miles of trail along the South Fork Chamberlain Creek Trail #019, work will be the upper end of the trail (T 21N, R9E, Sec 8,5,4,3). A Northwest Youth Corps Backcountry Leadership Crew will be flown into the backcountry for 5 weeks to complete (1) tread repair and support, (2) corridor clearing (winter blow-down) and brush removal, (3) drainage issues (install check dams and water bars, repair turnpikes), and harden fords.
In addition to hands on job skills, the Backcountry Leadership Crew will learn about land and resource management, land management agencies and the United States govenrment, and the ethics of conservation and preservation. Participants will also have the opportunity to learn about the importance of the Wilderness Act in the year of the 50th Anniversary while working in the wilderness area named after Frank Church, the Idaho Senator who was the floor sponsor of the Wilderness Act.
Fremont Dead Horse NRT
Fremont NF, Winter Rim
Crews will be completing trail maintenance on the National Recreation Trail in the Fremont National Forest in the Dead Horse Rim project area. This is a legacy project as NYC crews originally built much of the NRT and have maintained it after several fires ravaged the area in the last five years. Crews would utilize chainsaws and crosscuts for loggigng out deadfall, reestablishing destroyed trail corridors, and placing signage along 20-33 miles of trail in the Fremont NRT zone. This project would involve 30 plus youth. NYC programs use challenging projects to teach members about problem solving and positive living skills, promote a productive work ethic, encourage learning, and build self-esteem. Members learn essential job skills and receive training that will enhance their ability to make a positive impact in the communities in which they live. Participants learn about local resource management issues and the complexity of challenges facing Oregon’s resource management agencies and industries.
Spruce Reach Island Maintenance
Four miles east of Reedsport, OR on Hwy 38
NYC has been a part of seven years of work on the Spruce Reach Island Unit. The island includes a historic English woodland garden including 500 rhododendrons, 300 azaleas, 50 camellias and close to 100 imported trees; many of which are rare species. NYC crews have been the main labor force which took the area from 55-acres of eight foot blackberry brambles and eroding sideslopes to a restored public use space. The project has included noxious plant removal, landscaping, installation of 1800 ft ADA trails, canopy removal for plant health, debris removal, and facility maintenance. There are still many issues to resolve with the unit but it is close to being fully open to the pubic in the coming years.
Galena Summit Mountain Biking Trails
Galena Summit, Idaho
The Sun Valley region of central Idaho has become a premier national destination for mountain biking enthusiasts. According to Bike Magazine, Sun Valley’s single-track trails are “like butter”. Meandering dirt ribbons undulate through pristine wild forest, littered with wild flowers and creature habitat. There are over 1,000 miles of backcountry single and double track trails in the Wood River Valley and everyone can find a favorite.
Blaine County Parks and Recreation in partnership with IMBA, Northwest Youth Corps, and many local enthusiast groups are breaking ground on a new series of trails to add yet another feature to this terrific mountain biking landscape.
This project intends to utilize 2 NYC crews this summer to complete various tasks and will provide a job training experience for 20 youth aged 16-19. This is high profile public project that will connect young people to recreation opportunities in their area and raise public awareness about conservation corps programs.
Silverwood County Park Build
Town of Albion Wisconsin
In partnership with Dane County Parks Department, Operation Fresh Start is building a new educational agricultural park. When completed, Silverwood Park will include a historic farm house transitioned into a Welcome Center; an educational barn, educational sustainable agricultural farm, trails, a beach, observation tower and a bat home for housing endangered small brown bats.
Mount Bierstadt Trail Delination (a 14,000 foot peak)
Project work is located in the Mount Evans Wilderness Area. An RMYC crew will work side-by-side with the USFS and CFI to construct buck-and-rail fence, rock walls, and other structures to corral heavy user traffic to a more obviously delineated route on this highly impacted 14,000′ peak in the wilderness. Its proximity to Denver and the relative ease of the hike has made it one of the most popular peaks to summit in Colorado, and measures must be taken to ensure that the fragile alpine environment is protected from overuse and human impact.
White River National Forest Crosscut Trail Clearing
Various trails in the Holy Cross Wilderness and Eagles Nest Wilderness in the White River National Forest
Winter storms and seasonal weather patterns, combined with the pine bark beetle epidemic of recent years, cause large quantities of fallen trees to block trails in the wilderness that must be cleared according to wilderness regulations. This means that RMYC crews will hike miles upon miles of trail, using crosscut saws to buck fallen timber away from the tread and opening trails for summer usage.
Trans-Kalmiopsis Trail Restoration
Kalmiopsis Wilderness Area, southwest Oregon
We’re working to restore a network of trails that are disappearing from damage after the 2002 Biscuit Fire15. Our youth crew hikes into camps up to fifteen miles from the nearest trailhead. Then they work for up to twelve days at a time cutting thousands of downed logs and thick brush from the existing trail corridor.
We’ve been working on the project for four years. After this year a 26-mile route that transcends the wilderness will be passable for hikers for the first time in over 10 years.
Youth @ Work in our Parks
The five miles of trail work performed by SCYEC improved public safety on trails making them more friendly to first time hikers as well as mobility impaired visitors. Pruning of trees and bushes along the trail will also help in the long term health of the forest canopy in areas that will be regularly visited by the public.
This project allowed students to develop new skills and learn to operate equipment. Youth Crew members learned the value of pre-panning activities, preparation and execution of processes as well as critiquing their actions in response to the work done.
This area of riparian vegetation is central to the educational mission of Lake Sonoma, and serves as an example of a healthy mid-cereal stage riparian corridor. The work of the SCYEC helped save the Army Corps over $10,000 in costs.
Youth Conservation Corps
SYC will engage two crews of high school aged youth to complete mission critical projects in the Cherokee National Forest. Key projects will include maintaining and improving hiking trails to some of the Forests’ most popular attractions including water falls.
Mountain Bike Park
An Southeast Youth Corps urban AmeriCorps crew will help build a bump track at one of the key trail heads to the Stringer’s Ridge trail system.
Killpacker Basin Trail reroute
This project exemplifies a collaboratively planned and funded traditional young adult conservation corps project set in the Wilderness. SCC will spend 20 weeks (10 in 2014 and 10 in 2015) working alongside CFI technical high alpine leadership staff to complete a major trail reroute to protect a currently degrading user created route. Corpsmembers will receive a living stipend, AmeriCorps Segal Education Awards, technical conservation and outdoor living skills, be exposed to the rigors of high altitude work in a team setting as well as working with agency partners from the US Forest Service and the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative. This project was funded through the Colorado State Non Motorized State Trails Program, CFI and the USFS.
Hermosa Creek OHV Trail Maintenance
The Colorado State Trails Motorized OHV grant program will fund 6 crew weeks of work on the Hermosa Creek Trail, one of Durango’s most popular and closest multiple user, multiple loop trail. Participants will be exposed to back country living, technical trail work skills including significant rock work, and SCC’s Corpsmember Development Program which includes goal setting, evaluation, professional development and place based education and recreation.
Ideally, the 6 weeks funded by the State Trails program will be matched if a National Fish and Wildlife Federation grant submitted by SCC is approved.
Protecting Palmer Hay Flats
The Palmer Hay Flats State Game Refuge is 45 square miles of wetlands, forest, lakes and tidal sloughs located 30 minutes north of Anchorage and within close proximity to over half of Alaska’s population. Ducks, geese, sandhill cranes, moose, muskrats, salmon and many other birds, mammals and fish call it home. It is because of this rich diversity of habitat and wildlife, and its all around natural beauty, that many Alaskans from all walks of life and recreational preferences make the Palmer Hay Flats State Game Refuge one of the most important and cherished recreation areas in Alaska.
Youth from the Matanuska-Susitna Borough will construct a new bog bridge and boardwalks to give access to the public to view and love the Game Refuge without damaging the critical habitat. Providing the boardwalk and improved access will improve the wildlife habitat and protect it from the borough’s growing population. Youth will gain a sense of ownership in their work on their refuge!
McGee Creek Natural Scenic Recreation Area Trail Management Plan
Over the past few years, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation looked to increase their youth partnerships by engaging American YouthWorks members and staff to inventory their recreation trail resources at two prominent state park locations, Lake Thunderbird State Park and McGee Creek Natural Scenic Recreation Area. Corps program staff worked with corps members to create a GIS database of the current trail systems and to prioritize any needed repairs. Corps members are currently implementing the Trail Management Plans by completing erosion control and other improvements on over 8 miles of trails in backcountry locations throughout McGee Creek and at Mountain Bike trails at Lake Thunderbird State Park.
Trail Across Texas
The Trails Across Texas Crew is a partnership between the Texas Conservation Corps and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, which provides the state agency with an annual, 10 person, mobile trail crew. Funded through the Recreational Trails Program, it provides a dedicated trail crew to Texas State Parks where none was previously available. Over an eleven month period the crew will travel to ten or more state parks, and perform trail construction and maintenance across the state. During their 1,700+ hours of service, crew members will be exposed to conservation professionals from Texas Parks and Wildlife. They will leave the program with valuable job skills and experience in diverse aspects of sustainable trail building and maintenance.
Violet Crown Trail
The Texas Conservation Corps is currently constructing the first phase of the Violet Crown Trail, a 32-mile multi-use path that stretches through a number of central Texas counties and connects downtown Austin, Texas with rapidly growing suburban and rural areas to the south. It will be the first long distance recreation trail of its kind in the region. Using corps members and the expertise of the Texas Conservation Corps program (TxCC) is a key strategy in the development of the project, funded and managed by a local land conservancy. The Hill Country Conservancy is working with TxCC and the cities of Austin and Sunset Valley and has drawn funding from numerous local and regional sources, as well as the Federal Highways Recreational Trails Program.
Under the supervision of Texas Conservation Corps staff, corps members are gaining over 3,500 hours of experience in sustainable trail construction including the design of erosion control structures, trail layout, drystone masonry, highline rigging and managing an environmentally sensitive work site in endangered species habitat.
Mud Pond Boardwalk
The Mud Pond Natural Area is a conservation and watershed headwaters protection area in the town of Williston, VT. The area has been a popular winter-use recreation destination for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing and is transected by a segment of the statewide snowmobile trail network. The town of Williston has established a master plan for its trail development and management and has designated the Mud Pond Natural Area as an area of special concern and needed trail development to help protect the delicate natural ecosystem.
A VYCC crew working with the town planning office, volunteers from the University of Vermont, and local business will construct a 800 foot boardwalk to allow summer trail users to access the beautiful and rare peat bog at Mud Pond without causing significant detrimental impacts to the landscape. The crew will be trained in wetland trail construction and significant carpentry instruction.
USFS Trails and Facilities
Lemhi and Custer Counties, Idaho
YEP has been working with Salmon/Challis National Forest for the last 20 years. The project hightlighted above is a combination of two Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) projects that combine trail work with facilities maintenance. The facilities maintenance is associated with the USFS trail crew horse facilities and guard stations. Corrals, fencing and building maintenace are primary projects. Emphasis is on getting old fences repaired/replaced and making facilities safe for pack stock and trail crews.
Trails have been wilderness and non-wilderness with moderate to heavy tread work. Crews are made up of 6-8 individuals working 10-20 weeks during the spring,summer and early fall periods. This work has provided spotlight on local trails and multiple use trails that support public use and recreation. Local communites and foundations are supporting YEP’s efforts to get splintered user groups to work together. See RideSalmon.com and our fundraiser “12 hours of Disco” -an endurance mountain bike event- that is used to support program.
These projects have provided employment for 20-30 youth each of the past 4 years.
BLM range, recreation and fuels
These projects involve a wide range of resource management objectives and youth from the surrounding rural communities.
The range project has included the removal of over 15 miles of old range fence that was a concern to both domestic and wild animals. Program has worked with local allotment users and agency to create win/win fencing projects that have excluded range animals from endangered or sensitive species in raparian or spring areas. Youth have worked with agency range technicans on grass utilization, noxious weed identification and control.
The fuels project has been reducing forest fuels to reduce wild fire potential and to decrease conifer encroachment into critical winter habitat for big game species.
The recreation project has been working on development of new trails and maintenance of existing trails. Past projects have included an ATV training facility and wild sheep interpretive kiosk.