In the northwest, we’re surrounded by unique landscapes and get the chance to experience countless outdoor activities. Not many other places have the outdoor opportunities we do.
Outdoor recreation is a privilege we have due to public land access such as National Forests, National Parks and state lands which allow us to do the activities we love in areas reserved from privatization. Areas we love to hike, camp, climb, bike, fish, etc or just get out of the city require attention to prevent them from being neglected, trashed and destroyed. If you enjoy the outdoors and the idea of preservation, consider joining one of the many Conservation Corps available.
Conservation Corps are organizations dedicated to the preservation of our natural resources. The crews are involved in such work as habitat enhancement, trail work, biological research, fencing, etc in outdoor recreation areas.
Joining a Conservation Corps is definitely a memorable experience. Chelsea O’Hara, a junior at Sentinel High School in Missoula, said, “I loved everything about it, the people, being in the outdoors and just hanging out after work around camp.” Chelsea worked in the Montana Conservation Corps for a month this previous summer.
If you choose to participate in a conservation program you may find yourself in national parks, national forests and wilderness areas all over the state, or country depending upon the program. It’s an excellent way to get out and really experience beautiful places.
Not only is it a great time, serving looks great on resumes and can help you land jobs with various outdoor agencies. “I know a woman who participated in the Montana Conservation Corps and has gone on to volunteer work in Serbia, an opportunity opened up to her through her service.”, said Thomas Anderson, Senior at Billings Senior High School.
When asked about her service in the Montana Conservation Corps, Jessica Stiles, who has participated in the program, said, “It’s the opportunity of a lifetime and tons of fun. You learn a lot about teamwork, you have to work as a team.”
Along with all of the great things you’ll learn and good times you’ll have, conservation programs are an excellent experience to take advantage of!
Here are some organizations around the Montana area worth checking out:
The Montana Conservation Corps – www.mtcorps.org
Student Conservation Association – www.thesca.org
Yellowstone Conservation Corps – www.nps.gov/yell/parkmgmt/yccjobs.htm
USA Conservation Corps – www.usaconservation.org