This program is funded through the Oregon Conservation Corps (OCC) grant program, part of the 2021 Oregon Senate Bill 762 legislature designed to reduce the risk wildfire poses to communities and critical infrastructure, create fire-adapted communities, and engage youth and young adults in workforce training. Each participant will emerge from the program with the certifications to enter a career in wildland fire, cultural resource monitoring, or forest restoration. Additional support for the program is provided by funding through the Roundhouse Foundation and Center for Disaster Philanthropy.
“These young adults are learning to work in the woods with tools that protect land, communities, and ecosystem services: integrity, Indigenous Traditional Ecological Knowledge, and the technical skills that open doors to careers in the vast and growing field of forest restoration and fire management,” said Belinda Brown, Lomakatsi Tribal Partnerships Director. “The deep trust and partnership at work here, supporting this training model, is shifting the thinking entirely about what’s possible around workforce development, equity, and ecocultural fuels management, with the health of our Tribal youth and young adults at the core.”
The Tribal youth program builds on Lomakatsi’s existing model and leverages partnerships with a range of state and federal agencies, Tribal Nations, municipalities, nonprofits, fire districts, landowners, community members, and others to accomplish strategic ecological fuels reduction where it is needed most.