- April 13, 2015
- Posted by Brad Koontz
In partnership with the Montana Wilderness Association and The Wilderness Society, the U.S. Forest Service Rocky Mountain District will host two Montana Conservation Corps (MCC) interns for 11 weeks during the summer.
The new MCC intern program is designed to provide students with focused opportunities that meet their academic and career needs while advancing the goals of the host site organization.
On the Rocky Mountain Front, the interns will assist with field implementation of new wilderness designations included in the Heritage Act that was signed into law by President Obama in December of 2014. Work activities will include trail maintenance, noxious weed inventory and treatment, wilderness monitoring, boundary marking and signing, campsite cleanup, visitor contact and education and wildlife inventory.
“We’re pleased to have the opportunity to host the MCC interns with the assistance of MWA and TWS. The additional help will allow us to tackle a few more wilderness stewardship needs on the district while providing a solid work experience in wilderness for the interns,” District Ranger Mike Munoz of Choteau said.
Montana Conservation Corps is a nonprofit organization that inspires young people through hands-on conservation service to be leaders, stewards of the land and engaged citizens who improve their communities. Each season, MCC enrolls 300 young adult AmeriCorps members and 150 local teens in programs that integrate exemplary leadership training and hands-on service. MCC corps members complete 300,000 hours of conservation service every year.
“All of our AmeriCorps members play an integral role in the preservation and protection of our public lands. Conservation Interns are no exception. This position doesn’t just benefit the intern, the partners or MCC; it benefits all the user groups that will access the Rocky Mountain Front this summer and in the years to come,” said MCC Communications Coordinator Kyle Martens.
“Receiving a wilderness designation these days is no small task. In the few months following the passage of the Rocky Mountain Heritage Act, groups like the U.S. Forest Service and Montana Wilderness Association were quick to take action. To have an AmeriCorps member naturalizing campsites, treating invasive infestations, and maintaining access to the front this summer, is a real testament to the power of collaboration and value that all our organizations place on our public lands,” said Martens.
The Heritage Act designated 67,000 acres of public lands on the Front as part of the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex. The new law also protects the remaining USFS lands and the BLM Outstanding Natural Areas as a Conservation Management Area and requires the Forest Service to create a plan to address noxious weeds.
“We are thrilled that the bill passed and committed to making sure everything goes smoothly and successfully as it is implemented over the next few years,” MWA Field Director Casey Perkins of Choteau, said. “MCC is a wonderful program and this partnership is a great opportunity for us to pony up to get some good work done this summer.”
MCC is now accepting applications for these positions. To apply or learn more, go online to visit, http://www.mtcorps.org/join/conservation-intern.
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