Secretaries name new Conservation Corps Committee

By Agri-Pulse staff

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.

WASHINGTON, Dec. 8 - Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced a federal advisory committee to guide the creation of a 21st Century Conservation Service Corps (21CSC). Their goal: provide recommendations on how to build on the ongoing work of local, state, federal and non-profit youth conservation corps that engage young Americans in hands-on service and job training experiences on public lands and open spaces.


 “The 21st Century Conservation Service Corps will be a way for our nation's young people to work on conservation and outdoor recreation initiatives that drive America's economy and to find new ways to connect to their communities and build their careers,” Salazar said. “The conservation-service movement is steeped in rich history dating back to the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1933. I am confident that this committee of dedicated individuals with vast experience in conservation, outdoor recreation and youth employment will create a system to train and employ the next generation of conservationists.”


The committee - composed of representatives of the nation's conservation, service and workforce development groups along with representatives from federal agencies - will provide Salazar and Vilsack advice on a framework for the Conservation Service Corps' organizational structure; certification criteria for Corps providers and members; strategies to overcome existing barriers to successful program implementation; partnership opportunities with outside organizations and pathways for Corps participants to pursue future conservation, community engagement and natural resource careers.

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“We heard from people across the country about the importance and urgency of connecting our young people with America's Great Outdoors,” said Secretary Vilsack. “Providing meaningful work opportunities on our public lands will help youth gain important skills, develop our next generation of conservation stewards, and accomplish needed work related to our natural and cultural resources. This committee will help the Federal Government to work more effectively and efficiently with our partners to accomplish these goals.”


The Secretaries announced the appointment of the following individuals - whose terms begin immediately - to serve on the council.

·         Mary Ellen Ardouny (The Corps Network)

·         Henry Bruell (Southwest Conservation Corps)

·         Michael Collins (REI)

·         Dr. Quenton Dokken (Gulf of Mexico Foundation)

·         Laura Herrin (The Student Conservation Association)

·         Destry Jarvis (Private Consultant)

·         Na'Taki Osborne Jelks (The National Wildlife Federation)

·         David Muraki (California Conservation Corps)

·         Glenn Odenbrett (Great Lakes Education Network)

·         Daniella Pereira (City of New York Parks and Recreation)

·         Lee Ramsayer (Monster Worldwide)

·         Jerrad Schendel (Green Development Coalition)

·         Dana Valdez (Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks)

·         Charles Van Genderen (Montana Wildlife and Parks)

·         Carol Ann Wren (Cook Inlet Tribal Council)

·         Myra Blakely (Environmental Protection Agency)

·         Michael Ensch (Department of Defense, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)

·         Meryl Harrell (U.S. Department of Agriculture)

·         Justin Johnson (Office of Personnel Management)

·         Melissa Koenigsberg (U.S. Department of the Interior)

·         Asim Mishra (Corporation for National and Community Service)

·         Brian Pawlak (Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)


The official Charter for the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps Advisory Committee can be found on the 21CSC AC website:


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