Youth Ecological Forestry Training & Employment Program

Providing youth with hands-on experience in ecosystem restoration and inspiring careers in natural resources

Lomakatsi’s Youth Ecological Stewardship Training and Employment Program provides youth with educational experiences in ecosystem restoration through hands-on workforce training and employment designed to inspire interest in natural resources career paths.

Lomakatsi operates youth workforce initiatives throughout the region, layered into landscape-scale ecological restoration projects with partners, including the U.S. Forest Service—engaging students in both the science and application of ecosystem restoration and natural resource stewardship. Through positive work experience and teamwork development, youth gain education, professional skills, a sense of responsibility, a long-term community service ethic, and a foundation toward future employment in the field of natural resource stewardship. This unique program has been recognized as a best practice model by the National Congress of American Indians, U.S. Department of Interior, and U.S. Department of Agriculture for its successes tackling socioeconomic and environmental challenges.

Building a Future
Fused into active forest and watershed restoration projects, Lomakatsi’s Youth Ecological Stewardship Training and Employment Program provides youth interns with paid vocational training. Upon completion, participants are empowered to obtain further productive sustainable employment with Lomakatsi or other contractors and are inspired to pursue careers in natural resource management.

Restoration skills and training areas

  • Forest, stream and wetland restoration
  • Ecological forestry and by-product utilization
  • Cultural resource monitoring
  • Native grass seeding and vegetation planting
  • Wildlife habitat improvement
  • Noxious weed removal
  • Fish passage and habitat enhancement
  • Indigenous Traditional Ecological Knowledge
  • Forest thinning for habitat health and fuels reduction
  • Fish monitoring/counting
  • Technical forestry skills
  • Scientific monitoring
  • GPS mapping
  • Trail maintenance

Current Youth Initiatives

Click the squares below to learn more, and for program dates and application instructions

Other Youth Initiatives

Lomakatsi offers some of our youth programs annually, and others are offered as needed to meet the needs of the communities we serve. Below are some examples.

This program brings training and employment opportunities to youth in the Ajumawi/Atsuge Nation (Pit River Tribe) ancestral lands in Northern California. In 2017, Lomakatsi contracted with California Trout to protect wild trout populations and the unique cultural and recreational attributes of Hat Creek — one of California’s most important cold water, spring-fed natural resources. The youth workforce has been critical to this effort. Taught by Lomakatsi staff, guest instructors and the Tribes’ own Cultural Practitioners, this experiential, live classroom environment has increased the socioeconomic impact for tribal families as the youth learn to care for their ancestral lands. Lomakatsi held another session of this program in summer of 2019. Click here to read a media article.

Lomakatsi is a partner in a larger initiative involving nine federal agencies and six federally recognized Tribes along the Klamath River Basin focused on empowering Native communities by providing Tribal youth with employment and education opportunities in ecological restoration and natural resource related projects. 

Through a partnership with the Bureau of Land Management and the USDA Forest Service, Lomakatsi has provided youth in rural, formerly timber-driven Oregon communities of northern Josephine and southern Douglas counties with workforce training and experience in natural resource management professions on federal land projects. Projects are designed to enhance, restore and conserve recreation, fish, wildlife, and plant resources.

Piloted in 2009 through a partnership between the US Forest Service, the Upper Rogue Watershed Association and Lomakatsi, this project has trained and employed local youth aged 16-18 in trail construction and maintenance within the Sky Lakes Wilderness Area.

Juniors and seniors from Illinois Valley and Grants Pass area high schools gain hands-on training and educational experiences in ecological restoration and ecosystem management. During this four-week, intensive program, participants are employed through Lomakatsi’s hands-on workforce training and environmental education program. Selected students are paid competitive hourly wages to conduct work projects four days per week.

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