Youth Conservation Corps

YCC crew fixing fence

Ruby Lake NWR hosts a residential YCC Crew for eight weeks each summer. The YCC is a balanced work/learn/earn program for youth that develops an understanding and appreciation of the Nation's environment and heritage. Some of the Refuge work projects include trail maintenance, fence removal or repair, invasive weed management, litter pickup, and wildlife habitat enhancement. The environmental education portion of the program will expose participants to plants and wildlife of the Great Basin ecoregion, as well as careers in wildlife biology and natural resource management.

YCC crew learning about surveyingThe wildlife refuge actively recruits from four area high schools, but any qualifying individual may apply. Eligible young men and women must be at least 15 years of age before or on the first day of work and cannot reach 19 years of age before the program ends. Applicants that are permanent residents of the United States, its territories, or possessions, are eligible for employment without regard to social, economic, racial or ethnic backgrounds. Handicapped youth that can effectively participate in most YCC activities are eligible. Participants will be selected by a random drawing.

YCC crew building a blind at the bunkhouseEnrollees are paid either the current state or federal minimum wage, whichever is higher, for a 40-hour week. During the week, participants stay on-site at our bunkhouse facility. The Refuge provides transportation from Elko each Monday and return transportation to Elko each Friday. Weekday evenings crew members share household duties and outdoor recreational activities. 

Ruby Lake is now accepting applications for YCC crew for the summer of 2017. To apply, please print a copy of the application form, sign it (participant and parent or legal guardian), and return it to the refuge by May 15, 2017. Applications may be mailed to: Ruby Lake National Wildlife Refuge, HC 60 Box 860, Ruby Valley, NV 89833 or faxed to (775) 779-2370.  If you have questions about the YCC program at Ruby Lake NWR, please call the refuge at (775) 779-2237 or take a look at this year's recruitment flyer

For more information on youth programs in conservation nationwide, visit