BEND, Ore. - In collaboration with the United States Forest Service and the Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council, Heart of Oregon Corps is pleased to announce the hiring of 82 youth to participate in the Central Oregon Youth Conservation Corps program this summer.
From June 23rd to August 14th , these 82 youth will work on land stewardship projects on public lands across Central Oregon, accomplishing 23,000 hours of service and earning over $200,000 in wages altogether .
COYCC increased the number of youth crews this year to 16 crews. These crews will be based out of seven Central Oregon cities across four counties.
During this "work, learn, and earn" program for youth ages 16-18, environmental stewardship projects will be completed on local public lands in the Ochoco and Deschutes National Forests and Crooked River National Grasslands.
This year, each youth will earn approximately $2,500 each over the eight-week program; these wages stimulate the local economies where the youth work and live.
In the Ochoco National Forest, youth will work on recreational trail projects and eradication of noxious weeds in the Mill Creek and Bridge Creek Wilderness Areas, thus learning about wilderness and celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act while accomplishing much needed resource work.
Youth will also complete projects in the Crooked River National Grassland improving bluebird nesting habitats through the construction, placement and mapping of up to fifty nesting boxes in locations in which there currently are none.
Finally, Bend Fort Rock crews will work on important hazardous fuels projects to reduce the risk of catastrophic fires in the area, especially important in a season already experiencing early season wild fires. Crews will also construct an ADA accessible trail at popular Benham Falls.
The long-standing partnership between Heart of Oregon Corps youth crews and USFS has accomplished land stewardship work in Central Oregon since 2002.
"The Forest Service absolutely loves the crews we get from this program. Great kids, hard workers and they get very important stewardship and restoration work done on our Central Oregon public lands," states John Allen, Forest Supervisor of the Deschutes National Forest regarding COYCC.
This collaborative program is only possible with generous support from the US Forest Service, which was matched with funding secured by Heart of Oregon Corps and COIC. In addition, HOC garnered substantial investments from the community to make this program possible:
Grant Awards for 2014 Central Oregon Youth Conservation Corps
Oregon Youth Conservation Corps
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
The Collins Foundation
The Facebook Data Center in Prineville
The Gordon Elwood Foundation
The West Family Foundation
The US Bancorp Foundation
The Bill Healy Foundation
Total 2014 Grant Awards
Last year, 56 COYCC youth treated 569 acres of public lands for invasive species and maintained 110 miles of trail. With the increase in the number of crews, those outputs will undoubtedly increase, leaving a lasting impact on the vitality of Central Oregon's public lands.