Ecology Project International Awarded $20k Grant: National Forest Foundation Funds Youth Conservation Involvement in the Gallatin

Top Quote Ecology Project International received a $20,000 grant from the National Forest Foundation that will fund involvement of youth from Montana and the US in conservation projects and scientific research in the Gallatin National Forest in western Montana. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) November 16, 2010 - Conservation education non-profit, Ecology Project International (EPI) was awarded a $20,000 grant from the National Forest Foundation (NFF) to fund youth involvement in wildlife monitoring and habitat restoration in the Gallatin National Forest.

    President of the NFF, William Possiel, says "I have no doubt that significant benefit will come to the Gallatin National Forest and nearby communities."

    During the field season of EPI's Yellowstone Wildlife Ecology Program, approximately 100 youth will be involved in conservation projects in partnership with the US Forest Service (USFS). EPI partners high school youth and teachers with scientists, so that students learn science hands-on by contributing to conservation efforts, with the ultimate goal of empowering youth to be conservation leaders in their communities and the world.

    "I have learned how everything, even things that are too small to see, can have a monumental effect on the ecosystem. This has changed my thinking because now I know how everything has an effect," says 2010 Yellowstone Wildlife Ecology Program participant, Kevin Clark.

    The majority of these youth participants are Montanans, with the remaining coming from states all around the U.S. The last two years, EPI has also hosted a course of students from Latin America.

    In the 2011 field season, EPI participants will be assisting USFS researchers monitoring grizzly bears and snowshoe hares, and determining the extent of whitebark pine infestation and disease. The results of these research projects are ultimately used in land management plans to address conservation issues, as well as for understanding the current health and functioning of the forest.

    Since the launch of the Yellowstone Wildlife Ecology Program, over 180 youth have participated in data collection and habitat restoration, contributing more than 3,100 service hours to public and private conservation efforts and research in the Gallatin National Forest and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

    EPI also has three additional field sites for conservation education, studying leatherback sea turtles on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica, the giant tortoise in the Galapagos Islands, and marine mammals and sea life in Baja California Sur, Mexico. Since 2000, over 7,300 youth and teachers worldwide have participated in EPI's experiential science and cultural education programs. For more information about EPI's programs in Montana and Latin America, please visit Ecology Project International's website.

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