The Student Conservation Association and its partners in the Public Lands Service Coalition recently convened dozens of senior federal agency and conservation corps leaders to plan a comprehensive, public-private 21st Century Conservation Corps (21CCC).
21CCC would engage thousands of young Americans in conservation service to meet urgent needs on public lands. U.S. land management agencies are eager to greatly expand youth service on public lands and indicate such an initiative may be included in the Americas Great Outdoors policy recommendations to be presented to President Obama next month.
"A 21st Century Conservation Corps is an absolute win-win," states SCA Senior Vice President for Partnership Development Scott Weaver. "Our public lands get some much needed support during a period of budget belt-tightening while thousands of young people gain the career skills and experience they need to enter a highly competitive job market. There's only upside here and we're grateful to have had the chance to advance this concept with our federal agency partners."
Summit attendees included officials from the White House Council for Environmental Quality, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of the Interior, the Department of Labor, the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Corporation for National and Community Service and others. Also participating were Coalition members The Corps Network, the Southwest Conservation Corps, and the American Youth Works, among other organizations.