Youth Conservation Corps (YCC)

WEN’s 2018 Summer Youth Crew!

The Watershed Education Network is be hosting our fifth annual Youth Conservation Corps. Schedule: (subject to change at notice of Forest Service partners)

M-Th, 8 hour days

Starts: June 18th – July 19th
No YCC: July 2 – 7th
Ends: July 23-26

For more information email or give us a call at 406.541.9287!


        In the summer of 2014, Lolo National Forest (LNF) first collaborated with WEN to offer a Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) Summer Monitoring Program. Every summer since then, our 8-member crew of high school-aged youth are paid to spend 5 weeks collecting data in Lolo National Forest lands and waterways. Crew members monitor streams, decommission logging roads, and areas restored from mining. In addition to monitoring projects, students meet with professionals working on monitoring projects in and around western Montana. Some of these include meeting with Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks to receive “bear aware” training and learn about archaeological surveys.


Examples of YCC summer work projects:

Road Surveys: Crew members’ goals were to record route reconnaissance data in the Nemote Creek Watershed area which expands well over 25 square miles. In eight days the crew completed 29 roads and all sites were accompanied with GPS coordinates and photos of the potential drainage issue.

Weed Pulls: Equipped with an earlier lesson in native and invasive plant identification during their orientation week, crew members were given the task of weeding restoration sites along Twin, Mattie V and Little McCormick Creek.

Bedload Assessment & Locating Rip Rap: This project involved the crew performing bedload assessments (pebble counts and fine sediment grid toss counts) in the St. Regis River. Crew members performed over 90 fine sediment grid toss counts and measured over 3,100 pebbles. In addition, the crew indicated if sites could be used in future projects as a source of rip rap.


YCC students watch as Bob Wiesner from Fish, Wildlife, and Parks demonstrates how to track collared grizzly bears.

Environmental Education Projects: As a piece of our contribution to the YCC program, WEN provided a view into the different ecologically driven projects being carried out around the Missoula area:

  • Native plant restoration and non-native eradication at the Clark Fork Native Prairie led by John Pierce
  • Natural forest succession taught hands-on by Forest Service biologists Dick Hutto and Sue Reel
  • Bird surveying techniques at the MPG Ranch in Florence
  • Grizzly bear monitoring and DNA sampling with Bob Wiesner of Montana Fish, Wildlife, & Park