The presentation, which is open to the entire community, will be Thursday, August 1st at 10:30 a.m. in the Main Hall at Helena College.
“YFMP is an intensive seven-week internship program for high school students,” Liz Burke, YFMP program leader said. “In the program, these students explore forest ecology, discover a variety of natural resource careers, take part in stewardship projects, and supplement ongoing forest health analysis through strong citizen-led forest monitoring.”
YFMP continues its 16th year as a strong partnership program between Helena National Forest, Montana Discovery Foundation, Beaverhead National Forest, Helena College, and three local counties: Lewis & Clark, Jefferson, and Powell. “Our partners provide invaluable support and assistance in providing such a quality and meaningful program to youth in our communities,” Burke said.
Students receive one week of training alongside Forest Service scientists, learning forest ecology concepts and becoming familiar with field protocol for monitoring streams, soils, vegetation, recreation areas, and black-backed woodpecker populations. Following this initial training, students are split into five teams and under the direction of field instructors, monitor between 45-50 sites on the National Forest. Students collect data and formulate a final report and oral presentation to Forest Service professionals and the public.
“Student recommendations to forest managers are an integral part of the program,” Burke said. “Forest scientists listen to these students’ ideas and take them into consideration for future management activities. YFMP data and recommendations have been used to help lead management decisions on impacted sites, such as the Springhill Mine Repository and BlackHall Meadows rehabilitation site. What these students do during their internship matters to and is utilized by forest scientists.”