Idaho Conservation Corps

Field News Recap – April 2024

Idaho Update: In April, Idaho’s Red crew started out on a bridge project on the Sawtooth National Forest with Minidoka Ranger District. They carried stringers and decking (beams and walkway support), built gabions (large cages filled with rocks or concrete), and worked on a footbridge heading out of Harrington Creek picnic area onto Harrington Creek trail. Their next project took them north to Coeur d’Alene, ID, where they spent two weeks brushing and logging out the Canfield Mountain Trail System for the Idaho Panhandle National Forest, joined by Washington’s red crew. Next, they returned to Harrington Creek and continued working on trail maintenance on the Minidoka Ranger District. Here, they worked to widen the tread and brush the overgrown sections. For their last week in April, they moved to Idaho City to complete tree surveys for the Boise National Forest. Orange crew began the month finishing a fencing project they had started in March – repairing cattle enclosure fencing for the Boise BLM at Trail and Wolf creeks. They then moved to the same Harrington Creek trail project that red crew had just left – fixing trails and finishing the bridge. They then moved up to Coeur d’Alene, where they continued trail maintenance […]

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Field News Recap – March 2024

Idaho Update: Idaho UCF crews tackled a variety of challenges this month. Yellow Crew and Blue Crew continued working to get Nampa Forestry’s internal tree inventory software up to date by mapping and inputting more than 375 trees around Nampa’s city parks. Crews also helped clear approximately 1/2 mile of invasive Himalayan Elms. Both crews received their A Bucking and Felling USDA Forest Service Chainsaw certifications from our internal evaluator Jeff Olsen.  After certification, crews helped remove 18 dying Arborvitae trees that were planted at a historic Nampa cemetery and spent roughly 50 hours chipping tree debris. Crews will be back to assist the city with grinding old tree stumps and eventually planting a diverse row of trees to replace those removed. Additionally, with help from the Idaho Forestry Department, crews planted approximately 80 trees in a nursery to establish root systems over the next 2-5 years before being planted throughout the city.  Crews have also assisted the Idaho Fish and Game Department with planting 600 live willow stakes at two new fishing ponds to help establish a healthier ecosystem around the ponds by creating shade. Crews harvested, processed and planted the 600 stakes at Claytonia Fishing Pond and Dick Knox Fishing Pond.   Click

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Field News Recap – August

Idaho Update: Our Yellow Crew overcame incredible challenges this session, including a roughly 2000’ elevation gain hike into their first week of work at Phoebe Meadows in the Payette National Forest.  They completed a trail reroute which entailed digging almost a mile of brand-new trail to avoid the sensitive high alpine meadow.  They also got to spend a week near the historic lake Roosevelt where they got to experience the usage of trail pack mules to assist in loading in their gear for the week.  They finished off a turnpike project that the Montana Conservation Corps started but was unable to complete.  Putting the final touches on a project can be some of the most satisfying trail work out there! The Orange crew had a variety of work each week being different from the last.  Started off doing trail work with the Beaur of Land Management out of the Twin Falls District doing some thinning of Doug firs that were encroaching on high alpine poplar stands that are common breeding grounds for elk.  They then moved onto doing trail work near the city of rocks national monument on higher elevation trials around Cache Peak.  Once completing trail work, they got

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Field News Recap – Youth Camping Crews – Session One

Idaho Update: Our Idaho Conservation Corps Youth Camping Crew 7 had a variety of work throughout their session. They started in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest for their first three weeks. Week 1 was spent doing light tread repair and brushing out a grown-in trail. The next two weeks were spent doing invasive species removal in a different part of the forest before the crew headed out to the Malheur National Forest. They continued an on-going trail repair project before heading back to the coast to work in Coos Bay doing campground maintenance and invasive species removal ICC Youth Camping Crew 8 spent their first 3 weeks doing some serious trail maintenance and log out. The started in the Fremont-Winema National Forest working alongside 2 other crews before moving to the Umpqua National Forest to work on the North Umpqua Trail. They headed out to eastern Oregon into the Malheur National Forest for one more week of heavy trail work before spending their final 2 weeks in Mt. Hood National Forest doing some lighter trail maintenance and brushing. ICC Youth Camping Crew 9 spent 2 weeks in the Fremont-Winema National Forest working with a couple other youth crews doing trail

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Field News Recap – May

Idaho Update: Idaho graduated two crews in May. One of them, our Women’s saw crew finished out their season out of the beautiful Grandjean campground in the Sawtooth National Forest.  After having to delay the project for a couple weeks due to snow pack levels, they finally got to work in Idaho’s forests performing thinning work alongside the USFS Timber crew.  They removed trees within the campground in order to protect structures from wildfire risk, then used their tree ID skills to thin a 9 acre parcel of undesirable species. The second, our young adult red crew put some miles on their crew truck this season, and the last couple weeks were no exception!  They went from doing campground maintenance work in Mt. Hood all the way up to the Idaho Panhandle, where their final week was spent working at Idaho Fish and Game’s Kootenai Wildlife Refuge.  They worked on a variety of tasks, including removing old fence posts, landscaping work, and removing sod. Previous image Next image Click here to read about what our crews in other states are up to! https://www.nwyouthcorps.org/field-news-recap-may/

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Field News Recap – April

Idaho Update: With snow still on the ground in Idaho our Idaho Conservation Corps crews teamed up with Northwest Youth Corps in Washington and Oregon.  Our ICC women’s crew partnered with Washington Department of Natural Resources on a forestry thinning project near a middle school.  They also installed a rock fire prevention wall around a conservancy building.  Now they have headed to work on a project with Prineville Bureau of Land Management. Our young adult crew has also been working with Washington DNR, but in the Olympic Peninsula.  Some crew members have said that it was the most beautiful place they have ever seen. The crew is now headed to the Siuslaw National Forest in Oregon where they will complete trail work with project partners. Previous Next Click here to read about what our crews in other states are up to! https://www.nwyouthcorps.org/field-news-recap-april/

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Field News Recap – March

Idaho Update: Idaho has launched two spring young adult crews earlier than ever before. These crews kicked off the season working with our partners the Washington Department of Natural Resources. One of these two crews is our women’s specific crew who have all received their USFS chainsaw certifications before heading out for their first project in the Spokane/Colville region.  This crew has been busy working on campground maintenance, fence repair and removing trash from a natural area. They will be sticking in the same part of the region, but changing gears from Developed Recreation to Community Forestry work with a new partner.  They’ll spend their next three weeks thinning a 12-acre parcel that is overstocked with pine trees, reducing wildfire risk in an area badly in need of fuels reduction.  Our red crew has been in the Vancouver, WA region focusing on trail maintenance. This crew  hit the ground running, quarrying local rock to use for a large turnpike and rock retaining walls.  Despite lots of rain, snow, and high winds, these rock hounds knocked out an impressive amount of rock turnpike, crib walls, as well as some other general trail and campground maintenance. The next stop for this crew

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2022 Season Recap

By Clayton Lenz, ICC Program Coordinator | Dec. 2022  originally published for Idaho Conservation league blog Since 1991, Idaho Conservation Corps (ICC) has been empowering youth and young adults through completing resource management work across the state. Some of our crew members aspire to work in the conservation field, while others just want a fun way to spend their summer! Through hands-on, challenging work, these young people build and maintain the outdoor spaces that Idahoans love. In 2022, Idaho Conservation Corps served 53 teens, 39 young adults, 19 crew leaders, and 35 interns throughout the state. This season (May to October), ICC crew members:       Restored or improved 10 acres of habitat       Treated 13,047 acres for invasive species removal or prevention       Installed 155,655 plants       Created 99 trail features       Maintained 132 miles of trail       Bucked out 725 logs from trails       Deconstructed 1 mile of obsolete trail       Built 5 miles of fence       Removed 6 miles of obsolete fence       Built 500 feet of retaining wall       Spread 28,000 native seed over 11 acres       Thinned 14 acres of forest land to reduce fire danger

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Days Off | Day in the life of ICC

By: Jack L, 2022 ICC Participant  You arrive at your campsite just before sunset. The day started with breakfast at a cozy cafe, complete with a dazzling menu and a retro record player playing good vibes. After breakfast, you and your crew find showers – a necessity after working a full week outdoors. Feeling refreshed, everyone piles back into the truck and you start the drive towards the campsite. Music and podcasts entertain your mind for the next few hours, along with the stunning scenery of the Idaho wilderness. Creeks and rivers run alongside the road as you wind around mountains. After dinner in town, you make it to the campsite; it’s a little after 7 p.m. Without the city lights, darkness will settle in quickly and you retrieve your pack from the truck to set up camp. The tent that used to take you 30 minutes to set up now takes 5. You look to your left and see the orange glow of the sun gently starting to fall behind the mountains – jagged as the teeth of a chainsaw. The sky is pink, the trees are glowing. As you look around, all your worries, concerns, and fears dissolve. You

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