The Tribal Youth Employment Experience (TYEE) program expanded its existing summer job skills offerings into the area of natural resources for the first time this summer. Students spent time working with agencies including the BLM, Hatfield Marine Science Center, Siuslaw National Forest, and tribal natural resource experts.
“It was important to expand this program into natural resource fields,” stated Ian Keene, Youth Initiative Coordinator for the Siletz Tribe. “Students spent the summer doing meaningful work, and were exposed to so many possible career paths. They really loved being involved in so many fascinating things happening right here on the Oregon Coast.”
Students started their week-long journey at Cape Perpetua, where Sitka spruce rainforests meet the Pacific Ocean, and where the Forest Service meets visitors from around the world. Students worked with field ranger interns and volunteers who connect the public to these Forest resources.
Students went on to work with fisheries biologist, Paul Burns on a watershed impacted from agriculture and logging. The goal is to restore Coho salmon populations and the host of ecosystem services that a healthy watershed provides.
They battled the threats of invasive species at the Sand Lake Research area with forest botanist Marty Stein, pulling scotch broom to allow native plants to thrive, and in turn, sustain a unique ecosystem.
The week ended on an archaeological test excavation site of an old homestead north of Mapleton, along with Oregon State University field school students and forest archaeologist Kevin Bruce. Students searched for fragments of artifacts used to reconstruct past lives, operated survey equipment, and learned the challenges and rewards of managing cultural resources.
“These students have deep roots in the coast region and a legacy of caring for the land,” stated lead field ranger Brian Hoeh. “Our staff provided a broad range of experiences to see all of the different ways this Forest accomplishes this same goal. We appreciated the great work and enthusiasm these students put forth.”
“This was an amazing week to finish the summer,” said Keene, as students climbed into their van for the long drive back to Siletz. “Every day, they got to meet people who inspired them, and got them to think about their own futures in these roles. They’re tired after a long week, but they’re happy.”
Contact: For more information about the Siuslaw National Forest visit our web site at www.fs.usda.gov /siuslaw or call 541-750-7000. Stay in touch through twitter.com/siuslawNF and www.facebook.com/DiscoverSiuslawNF.