The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is looking for a few good young men and women, outdoors-minded candidates for consideration as additions to the DNR’s Natural Resources Commission (NRC) Youth Conservation Council.
“Last year we selected 18 young people from across the state to meet and help make recommendations to create a new generation of potential hunters, anglers and other outdoor recreation enthusiasts,” said Raymond Rustem, DNR staff advisor to the Youth Conservation Council. “We are very pleased with the group’s first year of insight and progress. These young people are bringing a new perspective to the department’s understanding of outreach to youth.”
The goal of this round of selections is to fill the full council of 25 members. Rustem added that the council is particularly interested in strengthening representation from the Upper Peninsula, northeast Lower Michigan and urban areas.
“The first year we realized was going to be a learning process in finding out what the council members could do and how this council would operate,” said Rustem. “We started with fewer members, but now with a year of experience under our belts, we’re ready to increase the number of youths involved and, hopefully, expand the council’s geographic diversity.”
During the past several months, council members have been developing several projects to encourage youth participation in outdoor activities. A youth blog site is nearly ready to go live; some members are busy preparing YouTube videos to promote outdoor activity; and others are at work on a youth photo contest that will have a monthly winner.
Just as with the first crop of candidates, selected Youth Conservation Council members will commit to:
Participating in at least four meetings each year. Two of them will be offered as weekend training sessions at a conference facility; the other two will be shorter meetings with possible attendance through teleconferencing and/or Web-based applications;
Taking part in broad-ranging discussions about Michigan’s outdoors and the current and future recreation opportunities available statewide; and
Making recommendations to both the NRC and the DNR about policy, program and legislative changes that members believe will boost young residents’ interest and involvement in the outdoors.
Rustem said members will also gain valuable leadership skills and public-service experience that will aid them in future academic, community and career endeavors.
Applications are available on the DNR website, along with a roster of frequently asked questions that offers more detail about the Youth Conservation Council. To learn more, visit www.michigan.gov/dnr, choose Education and Outreach, and then select the Youth Conservation Council information under Programs for Families and Individuals.
Completed applications must be postmarked by Jan. 31, 2014 and should be sent to:
NRC Youth Conservation Council
ATTN: Raymond Rustem
P.O. Box 30028
Lansing, MI 48909