A New Approach to Restoring the National Conservation Lands
Since our founding in 2007, the Conservation Lands Foundation has had great success in protecting and expanding the National Conservation Lands. The third part of our mission—the restoration of these great places—is now receiving new focus as we build an action-oriented partnership to address restoration on the National Conservation Lands.
In December 2012, we were joined by nearly 100 supporters in Denver to kick off this new public-private collaboration that unites the Bureau of Land Management, conservation corps, private businesses and veterans groups to address restoration needs and identify projects for the National Conservation Lands. We built this partnership on two important premises.
First, young people and post 9/11 veterans need jobs. The share of young people age 16 to 24 who were employed last July was just 48.8 percent, the lowest July rate on record, which began in 1948. Unemployment for men and women who have served in the military since 2001 ranges between 15.3 and 21.9 percent. (Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)
Second, there is work to be done on America’s National Conservation Lands. This includes restoring rivers and wetlands to improve water quality, fixing roads and trails, making communities safer with good fire management, improving wildlife habitat, protecting Native American and pioneer history, and more. This work is an investment in our public lands—lands that represent an American value and way of life that so many uniformed military personnel worked to defend.
Our new partnership puts these things together, allows us to roll up our collective sleeves, and get some work done.
- Hire veterans and young people to work with Conservation Corps
on the National Conservation Lands
- Allow the BLM to prioritize projects and provide training and
mentoring to youth and veterans.
- Invite non-profits organizations and businesses to bring extra
volunteers, and together they complete projects to restore and
safeguard the National Conservation Lands—some of our
country’s most valuable natural lands.
Everyone wins. Veterans and youth, our nation’s natural resources, our public agencies, local communities, all Americans. Royal Bank of Canada, with an office in Denver, became the first corporate partner to join this collaborative effort. Their contribution has helped place the partnership’s first youth corps crew on the ground in Colorado’s McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area, working to improve habitat on a stretch of the Colorado River. You can read a Summit County Voice news story about Royal Bank of Canada’s donation here. More projects are planned for areas in the National Conservation Lands in California, Nevada and Arizona.
The Conservation Lands Foundation wants to partner with other foundations, private donors, and corporations to raise new funding and leverage matching funds for this program. Please contact Charlotte Overby, Conservation Lands Foundation, to learn how you can become involved.