SANTA FE ― The Forest Stewards Guild’s Forest Stewards Youth Corps (FSYC) summer program has kicked off the 2019 field season with a crew member training.
Twenty FSYC crew members ages, 16 to 19, attended the three-day training that ends today at Hyde Memorial State Park near Santa Fe. The four crews will then spend the following 8-weeks working on U.S Forest Service (USFS) lands and learning from USFS specialists.
The FSYC program is a summer work-earn-learn program for young women and men to help restore New Mexico’s forests and watersheds. Over the summer, program participants develop a deeper appreciation of our natural heritage, learn the fundamentals of forest ecology, receive on-the-job training, and earn a salary while completing projects on National Forest system lands.
“The combination of engaging youth and restoring our forests is really powerful” said Matt Piccarello, the Forest Stewards Guild Southwest director. “Crews work on conservation projects including forest and wildlife habitat restoration and work on trails and recreation facilities. Projects facilitate development of a solid work ethic, leadership skills, understanding of USFS programs and disciplines, and an opportunity to work together with other youth of diverse backgrounds.”
For over 20 years, the Guild and the USFS provided youth training and an introduction to natural resource management through our successful FSYC program. The during a typical year, crews complete over 12,000 hours of natural resource management projects and over 2,000 hours of educational sessions on six USFS Districts. More than 700 rural youth went through our program to date, many of whom attained higher education and careers with the Forest Service. Crew members have an opportunity to earn college credit in forestry through a partnership with Santa Fe Community College.
The 2019 program is made possible through support from the New Mexico Youth Conservation Corps Commission, the National Forest Foundation, the Taos Ski Valley Foundation, and many others. The program is a success due to the strong partnership between the Guild and Region 3 of the USDA Forest Service, the Cibola National Forest, and the Santa Fe National Forest. Crews are stationed at ranger districts on both the Cibola and Santa Fe National Forests.
News media are invited to observe the training and conduct interviews at Hyde Memorial State Park (740 Hyde Park Rd. Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501) at 9 a.m., Wednesday June 5. Please RSVP to Sam Berry at 541.816.6371.