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KENAI NWR: Youth Conservation Corps Employs, Educates and Engages
Alaska Region, October 15, 2012
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Kenai NWR 2012 YCC crew before a day of
Kenai NWR 2012 YCC crew before a day of "swinging tools" on a trail re-route project on Kenai River trail. - Photo Credit: C. Johnson
YCC enrollees Davina Schultz, Joanne Glaves, Jeff McNutt & Dillon Jenson load up to carry material to their work site on Drake Skookum Lakes trail.
YCC enrollees Davina Schultz, Joanne Glaves, Jeff McNutt & Dillon Jenson load up to carry material to their work site on Drake Skookum Lakes trail. - Photo Credit: C. Johnson

The Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) at Kenai National Wildlife Refuge has a long and successful history of engaging young adults in conservation and resource management projects. With returning crew leaders, Ciara Johnson and Christa Kennedy, the emphasis on diverse and challenging projects and a dynamic environmental education program, 2012 may have been the best yet.

 

Through each work project, the YCC enrollees not only gained a variety of skills and abilities, but an increased understanding of the natural and human processes taking place on the Refuge, and the philosophy and policy that guides its management.

During the 8 week program, this season’s projects introduced YCC enrollees to: historic cabin restoration and the history of European settlement on the Kenai peninsula; riparian habitat protection and fence installation at the Russian River Ferry; portage trail maintenance and paddling in the remote Wilderness of the Swan Lake Canoe System; trail construction and maintenance, preventing erosion and minimizing human impacts; Leave No Trace ethics; wildfire ecology and management; and bear awareness.

For some enrollees this was their first job, for others it was their first experience swinging a tool or camping on the Refuge, but for all it was an exciting opportunity to work and learn outdoors with a tightly-knit group of peers.


Contact Info: Scott Slavik, 907-260-2846, scott_slavik@fws.gov



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