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USDA, partners to invest over $11 million for youth, veterans

Staff writer |
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the U.S. Forest Service and partners have invested over $11 million to support work and training opportunities for more than 1,500 youth and veterans on national forests and grasslands in fiscal year 2016.

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The funds support the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps (21CSC), a public-private initiative to connect America's youth and veterans with job opportunities that conserve and sustain our natural and cultural resources.

Over the last two years, the Forest Service has engaged 20,000 youth and veterans through partnerships with 21CSC member organizations and other institutions.

This year participants will focus on more than 120 priority projects across the country working on a range of issues from restoration, hazardous fuels management and watershed protection to trails and facilities maintenance while helping to develop the next generation of conservation stewards and the agency's workforce.

The Forest Service and partners make investments in 21CSC throughout the year. Today's announcement includes national and regional Forest Service investments of $6.5 million with additional partner investments of $3.7 million in funding.

The National Forest Foundation has also leveraged an additional $1.5 million for 21CSC projects so far in 2016.

Last month the Department of the Interior, USDA, and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation announced $3.16 million in 21CSC funding to put young people to work on 60 additional projects.

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