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John Day Basin Conservation Corps

The mission of the John Day Basin Conservation Corps is to inspire a deeper connection to the outdoors, while strengthen the next generation of environmental stewards, by providing a paid work experience supported by technical and soft skill trainings, to military service veterans and local youth.

The conservation corps model is nearly 100 years old and provides timeless benefits to those that participate. It is well documented that many individuals serving in conservation corps programs go on to jobs in leadership, and are more likely to be active participants in their communities. The John Day Basin Conservation Corps helps to accomplish this by not only providing on-the-job training and a paid work experience, but also by encouraging its participants to develop life skills needed to succeed in today’s society.

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Summer Youth Crew

Thanks to funding from the Oregon Youth Conservation Corps, the Malheur National Forest, private landowners and more, NFJDWC hires local youth every summer to work on watershed enhancement and restoration projects. These projects have historically included: willow planting, bike path repair, fish salvage, song meter deployment, wildlife exclusion fencing, river clean-up, forest trail maintenance, and beaver dam analog construction.  This summer employment program provides local youth the opportunity to gain new employment skills and explore their local landscapes; while also gaining, for many of them, their first paid work experience.

The Summer Youth Crew program has been postponed until 2022.

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Wilderness Veterans Trail Crew

The Veteran Wilderness Trail Crew provides military veterans a pathway into the natural resources management industry. The “Wild Vets” work with the Malheur National Forests and Trout Unlimited, completing trail construction and maintenance, bridge construction, rock drainage work, instream restoration work including channel spanning structures, and beaver dam analog construction. Crew members gain workforce and career development training, soft and technical skills, certifications, and more. The Wild Vet crews work up to 22 week terms, spending the majority of their time camped out in picturesque, local wilderness areas.


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