For two decades, Forest Stewards Guild (FSG) has worked with the New Mexico Youth Conservation Corps (NMYCC), a state funded program, to employ high school aged youth from disadvantaged communities for the summer. Each year they partner with the US Forest Service, hosting 4- 8 crews across several National Forests and engaging 25-50 youth. These crews protect streams, repair trails, remove weeds, mark timber, prepare prescribed burn units, and enhance wildlife habitat on our public lands. In addition to on-the-ground work, crew members learn about local conservation issues such as forest management, fire ecology, watershed health, and wildlife ecology.

Taos Ski Valley Foundation, Moore Charitable’s New Mexico affiliate, is proud to partner with FSG to empower the next generation of forest stewards and increase firefighter capacity in NM. Support has helped FSG improve recreation connectivity by maintaining public use trails, building wildlife fencing, reducing erosion on trails, and mitigating for catastrophic wildfire that could close down the National Forest. It also has helped to protect communities against the threat of wildfire and restore “good” fire to the landscape, increasing forest health through the use of ecologically beneficial prescribed fire, timber marking for forest restoration treatments, and more. 

Impact:

675 acres of prescribed fire implemented across state and federal lands

16 youth ages 18-25 employed on 2 National Forests for 10 weeks

16 new certified firefighters added to the season’s fire work force

32 college credits achieved

  • Conserve over 56,000 acres in just four years
  • 3 times the size of the Great Sand Dunes National Park