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Wyoming Conservation Corps Recruiting for First All-Women Crew at UW

Wyoming Conservation Corps (WCC) crew leader Celia Karim helps build a trail in the Shoshone...
Wyoming Conservation Corps (WCC) crew leader Celia Karim helps build a trail in the Shoshone National Forest near Lander in July. In 2022, UW’s WCC will have its first all-women crew. (UW Photo)(University of Wyoming)
Published: Nov. 9, 2021 at 12:11 AM CST
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LARAMIE, Wyo. (Release) - Wyoming Conservation Corps (WCC) crews work long, physically demanding days digging, running chainsaws and building fence, often in remote locations and harsh weather. Next summer, for the first time, one of those crews will be an all-women team, composed of two crew leaders and six crew members.

WCC is housed within the University of Wyoming’s Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources, which educates future leaders to have the skills, tools and experiences needed to take on environment and natural resource challenges and create sustainable futures for wild and working lands.

“Here at WCC, we know that women are more than capable of substantial conservation service. Inspired by strong women before, we aim to empower young women in the outdoors,” says Kate McNichols who will be one of the leaders for the all-women AmeriCorps crew. “This summer, WCC will launch a new program, a single identity crew with a big goal: making resource management, a traditionally male-dominated field, more accessible to female-identifying individuals.”

McNichols was a WCC AmeriCorps crew member in 2020 and a crew leader this year. She brought the idea for an all-women crew to WCC and will be recruiting to fill the crew in the coming months.

For the last 15 years, WCC has sent AmeriCorps crews out across Wyoming each summer where they work on a range of conservation projects. In a typical season, about 40 percent of crew leaders and members are women. WCC already has a Veteran Trail Crew with spots reserved for those who have served in the military.

This summer, the all-women crew will dispatch out across the state on six rigorous 10-day hitches to dig trails, build fences, cut trees and other various tasks with public land management agencies. So far, the all-women crew is scheduled to take on four projects in Grand Teton National Park, with additional assignments to be scheduled.

Just like the other WCC AmeriCorps crews, the two crew leaders will earn S-212 chainsaw and wilderness first responder certifications. During the summer, crew members will take a conservation leadership course for academic credit as well as earn a wilderness first aid certification and receive “Leave No Trace” training. At the end of the season, WCC members receive AmeriCorps education awards that can be used to pay for college, graduate school or to pay back student loans.

WCC hopes to hire all 2022 crew leader positions by Jan. 1 and all crew members by May 1.

To apply or to learn more about WCC, go to www.uwyo.edu/wcc; or call Jim Fried, WCC program director, at (307) 766-3048 or email jfried@uwyo.edu.

WCC’s mission is to promote individual development, stewardship and education through localized national service. This AmeriCorps program is made possible through a grant from ServeWyoming and AmeriCorps.

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