COLLABORATION AND CONSERVATION WITH
THE NATIONAL FISH AND WILDLIFE FOUNDATION
THE NATIONAL FISH AND WILDLIFE FOUNDATION, along with The Department of the Interior and the US Department of Agriculture, awarded $3.16 million in grants to support conservation employment and mentoring opportunities for youth at 60 projects on public lands nationwide through the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps (21CSC) Initiative. One million dollars of this money came from private fundraising, leveraged for an additional $3 milion in matching contributions. The supported programs and projects employed more than 760 youth in conservation-related activities, restoring approximately 5,150 acres of habitat on public lands. Agencies participating in this NFWF Next Generation program include the Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S Geological Survey, Bureau of Indian Affairs, National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service. The goal of the 21CSC Initiative is to support organizations across the country that engage youth in the conservation and enhancement of natural resources on our nation’s public lands. The 21CSC Initiative supports organizations that employ youth and veterans in activities such as trail maintenance, watershed restoration and forest regeneration. Through the projects highlighted to the right, youth and veterans will actively participate in creating a healthy environment while learning essential skills that foster careers in natural resources.
“Long-term conservation efforts can only be successful if new generations share our commitment to sustain, restore and enhance our nation’s wildlife and habitats,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. “Young people growing up today often don’t get the chance to connect with nature, especially when they live in urban areas. Programs such as the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps can bridge that divide and get these young people outside, where they can develop a deep appreciation of the natural world.” The 21CSC is built through strong public-private partnerships with companies like REI, American Express, Thule, Backwoods, American Eagle Outfitters, CamelBak, The North Face, Coca-Cola, The Campion Foundation and Youth Outdoor Legacy Fund. NFWF was created in Congress in 1984 and is one of the world’s largest conservation grant-makers, working with both the public and private sectors to restore our ecosystems. NFWF works to bring all parties to the table, and currently partners with 15 federal agencies and more than 45 corporate and private partners. Conservation Legacy programs are long time NFWF partners, and through the 2016 21CSC Initiative, completed several projects this past summer. Conservation Legacy has also been an integral piece in the formation and execution of the 21CSC.