Civilian Conservation Corps - est. 2020
The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) launched on October 16th of 2020 with a crew of 8 members, creating a local islands-based conservation corps to meet the demands of land management across many agencies and partners in the San Juans. The CCC is an 11-month AmeriCorps program providing members a monthly stipend, an education award for college, medical benefits, housing, and a certificate in Field Ecology taught by professors and specialists from the Huxley College of the Environment at Western Washington University and the Indigenous Studies Department at the Northwest Indian College (NWIC).
The crew works with with local public and preservation organizations in San Juan County including San Juan County Public Works, San Juan County Land Bank, San Juan County Preservation Trust, San Juan County National Parks, Friends of the San Juans, Department of Interior, and OPALCO. Projects include a wide range of conservation issues from forest restoration treatments for reducing wildfire risk, wetland and riparian zone recovery, invasive weed removal, and Gary Oak ecosystem rehabilitation.
The program provides a range of skills and knowledge for crew members that includes conservation practices from USDA's Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), forest stand mapping, technical tree felling, soil testing, silviculture, and wildfire risk reduction. In 2021, CCC members will serve their summer months as crew leaders for the Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) program, providing a continuum of education in technical field work, teaching and mentoring, workforce development, and conservation sciences all based in the stewardship of our land and seascape, from the ages of 12-25.