Youth Ecological Stewardship Training and Employment Program

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Provide youth with educational experience in ecosystem restoration through hands-on workforce training and employment designed to inspire exploration and interest in natural resource career paths.

Gaining Experience
Instructed and led by Lomakatsi’s professional staff, natural resource agency specialists, and scholars, rural youth aged 15-24 participate in hands-on, ecosystem management, and vocational exploration designed to foster interest in pursuing careers in natural resources. Through positive work experience and teamwork development, youth build professional skills, a sense of responsibility and self-sufficiency, a long-term community service ethic, and the ability to obtain future employment in natural resource management.

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 for up to three months. 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 through further academic study.

youth work 2, 356x272Providing Workforce Training:

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

Youth Initiatives:

Ashland Watershed Youth Training and Employment Program: This four week summer intensive education, workforce training, and employment program is designed for juniors and seniors from Ashland, Phoenix and Medford High Schools. Through the Ashland Forest Resiliency Stewardship Project, utilizing the Ashland Watershed as an outdoor classroom, participants gain hands-on experience in all aspects of watershed health and stewardship. For more info, click here.

— Tribal Youth Ecological Forestry Training Program: Through a partnership between Lomakatsi Restoration Project and The Klamath Tribe’s Education and Employment and Natural Resources Departments, this program provides tribal youth with hands-on training and exploration of career paths in natural resources, providing them with a variety of skills in forest and watershed restoration. For more information, click here. For a story and photos from our Summer 2014 program, click here.  For a newspaper story, click here.

Wild Rivers Youth Training and Employment Program: New in 2018, Lomakatsi in partnership with the Wild Rivers District of the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest is bringing this program to the Illinois Valley.  Combining an employment opportunity with technical mentoring in ecological restoration we seek to provide a unique and significant opportunity for young people in the Illinois Valley. This program provides youth with an educational experience in ecosystem restoration through hands-on training and employment designed to inspire exploration and interest in natural resource career paths. For more information, click here.

Issi Wah Tribal Youth Ecosystem Workforce Program: 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. Click here to read a media article.

 Klamath Basin Tribal Youth Employment and Education Initiative: 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. 

— Jefferson Conservation Corps (JCC):  Through a partnership with the Bureau of Land Management and the USDA Forest Service, Lomakatsi is providing 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. 

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 —  Upper Rogue Trail Restoration Crew:  Piloted in 2009 through a partnership between the US Forest Service, the Upper Rogue Watershed Association and Lomakatsi, this project trains and employs local youth aged 16-18 in trail construction and maintenance within the Sky Lakes Wilderness Area.

Collaborative Partnership
Lomakatsi is founded in collaborative partnerships. Youth Ecological Stewardship Training and Employment Program partners include:

  • USDA Forest Service
  • US Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Bureau of Land Management
  • Upper Rogue Watershed Council
  • The Klamath Tribes
  • City of Ashland
  • Mid Klamath Watershed Council
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • The Job Council
  • Northwest Youth Corps
  • Private Landowners

Media articles:
Tribal Youth Program teaches knowledge and skill, August 12, 2016, Pit River Country, re: Lomakatsi’s Issi Wah Tribal Youth Ecosystem Workforce Program.

Fire Line to the Future: Students learn forestry skills while helping improve the health of Ashland’s watershed, July 23, 2013, by Paul Fattig, Ashland Daily Tidings, re: Lomakatsi’s Ashland Watershed Youth Training and Employment Program.

Students Work on Preserving Watershedby Rob Scott, July 17, 2013, Newswatch KDRV 12, re: Lomakatsi’s Ashland Watershed Youth Training and Employment Program. Article and video with student interviews.

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