BHA often touts the boots-on-the-ground, grassroots efforts of our organization and perhaps nothing embodies this more than the stewardship efforts of our college clubs. As collective owners of millions of acres of public land throughout North America it’s important that we take care of the land in the same way we care for our rifles, shotguns, and fly rods. Each year, clubs complete two work service projects in their local community. These projects build tangible field skills, leadership, relationships and most importantly an army of active and engaged young leaders.
We partner with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and multiple state and local agencies to remove fencing, restore habitat, improve wildlife corridors, and remove trash. Students have planted willows and sagebrush seedlings, documented and removed invasive species, and have packed out nearly 500 bags of trash.
Students now have a new opportunity to get their hands dirty, thanks to generous support from the S. Kent Rockwell Foundation. Introducing the Public Land Owner Stewardship Fund which makes available five $500 grants to student clubs to be used exclusively for one or more stewardship projects on their home turf. The grants will be offered every school year for the next five years. This fall, we awarded these grants to five clubs across the U.S. and Canada (University of Wisconsin Steven’s Point, University of British Columbia, Utah State University, Castleton University, and Holland). They will be adopting wildlife areas, improving wildlife habitat, and maintaining our public lands for the enjoyment of future generations.
I sleep much better at night knowing our wild places are in the hands of the next generation when I watch these young leaders work. I’m grateful to do it every day. These students are caring for wild places and learning every day they can make a difference on the ground. They are knowledgeable, passionate, and always on their game and we don’t accomplish our public lands mission without them.
If you are a student, get involved here.
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