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The Wyoming Conservation Corps (WCC) is not accepting project proposals for the 2014 summer season while administrators work to establish a more sustainable funding system to support the program.
Administered by Residence Life and Dining Services (RLDS) in the University of Wyoming Division of Student Affairs, WCC is a grant-supported program that engages students in conservation-based projects throughout the state. It has been funded by the Corporation for National and Community Services’ AmeriCorps program, Wyoming State Legislature and cooperating partners including the Bureau of Land Management, Wyoming State Parks and Historic Sites, national parks and some industry, corporate and nonprofit organizations.
Because of reductions in AmeriCorps funding, changes in some grant renewal procedures, increased project costs and other factors, the WCC will be inactive until further notice.
“We want to regroup by late January/early February to reactivate WCC with potentially three crews for the summer of 2014,” says Patrick Call, RLDS executive director. “In the event we are not able to regroup this quickly, we plan to spend 2014 developing a plan that would allow us to bring WCC back into action in the summer of 2015.”
WCC has received outstanding support and cooperation from the Legislature and the partner organizations, Call says. He is certain such support will continue once a more sustainable budget system can be developed.
“We surely would not have had the diverse and rich program that we have had if it were not for your time, energy and commitment to training the next generation of land stewards,” Call wrote in a letter to WCC partners.
Students gain leadership experience and skills in projects ranging from maintaining habitat for wildlife and mitigating bark beetle impacts on the forests to creating recreational trail systems and restoring historic sites.
Founded in 2006, the WCC continues the civil service tradition of the Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930s and Youth Conservation Corps of the 1970s. Nearly 300 students have completed more than 200 projects relating to energy, wildlife, recreation, grazing, timber management, property restoration and maintenance, and water and air quality.