Utah youth conservation groups are expected to get a significant portion of the $6.7 million dollars in funding announced yesterday by U-S Interior Secretary Sally Jewell. The total amount comes from various public agencies with matching funds from private groups as part of President Obama’s 21st Century Conservation Service Corps Initiative. Matt Moore is the program director of the Canyon Country Youth Corps at the Four Corners School of Outdoor Education in Monticello. He says this money will make a positive difference in a variety of ways.
“We’re in a good position to complete important conservation work on public lands while engaging youth that often times very much benefit from the job opportunity and the job experience working outside.”
Moore says much of the work his youth crews are doing is battling the invasive tamarisk along the Dolores River between Utah and Colorado.
“It takes over riparian areas and so a goal to eradicate it from a watershed is an ambitious one that takes a lot of time and a lot of resources and we’ve been doing this work for 3-4 years,” says Moore, “fielding dozens of weeks annually of 8-person youth crews to chainsaw tamarisk and treat it herbicide and to try to eradicate it or at least control it within the ecosystem of the Dolores River.”
A little more than $130,000 is going to that project. A similar project along the Virgin River near St. George is getting about $182,000. A fence removal project in the Henry Mountains is set to receive nearly $35,000.