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Local Youth Conservation Corps Helps Lassen National Forest

The Lassen National Forest Service received a little help on a few projects this summer from a group of  four individuals who participated in the Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) crew.

From June 17th to August 10th, the YCC crew assisted with construction of the low water courtesy dock at Eagle Lake, built fence around sensitive habitat and areas of concern, removed old and abandoned fences, planted trees, assembled and installed picnic tables, and performed routine campground maintenance.

Anton Bengard, Travis Hill, Jaydi Miller, and Ryan Freitas, selected through a random process that began in April, and they dedicated eight-weeks to completing several projects under the supervision of Mo Suarez, the YCC crew supervisor.

(Pictured from R-L: YCC crewmembers Anton Bengard, Ryan Freitas, Jaydi Miller, and Travis Hill; YCC Supervisor Mo Suarez is at far left)

“The Forest’s YCC program continues to be a great success due to YCC crew supervisor Mo Suarez,” said Youth Program Manager Paula Dante. “He gets a lot of satisfaction from teaching the youth how to safely and effectively work on Forest projects,” added Dante.

Suarez’s primary job is Rangeland Management Specialist on the Eagle Lake Ranger District. He has supervised past YCC crews and was asked again by Eagle Lake District Ranger Ann Carlson to run the 2012 program.

Crew members shared which work was particularly meaningful or enjoyable for them. They all agreed the quick, positive feedback they received from the public made the low water courtesy dock the unanimous favorite project this year.

The Youth Conservation Corps is a summer employment program administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (Forest Service) and by the U.S. Department of Interior (both the Fish and Wildlife Service and National Park Service). Since 1970, the YCC program has operated as a work-learn-earn program for youth as provided for in Public Law 91-378, 1970, as amended.

The three main goals of the YCC program are to: 1) accomplish needed conservation work on public lands; 2) provide gainful employment for 15 through 18-year-old males and females from all social, economic, ethnic, and racial classifications; and 3) develop in youth participants an understanding and appreciation of the nation’s natural environment and heritage.

The YCC program is designed to prepare America’s youth for the ultimate responsibility of managing the nation’s natural resources for the future. The Lassen National Forest intends to continue to promote this program next year and may extend opportunities in other communities within the boundaries of the Forest.


Jeremy Couso
Jeremy Couso Publisher/Editor
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