State Rep. Millie Hamner (D - Dillon) was recognized as one of Colorado Youth Corps Association's Legislators of the Year this week for her work on a measure encouraging the continued use of youth conservation groups for forest-restoration projects.
"This organization does such good work in the world of conservation in our great state," Hamner stated in a release announcing the award. "Our children can serve as assets to our state and make positive contributions so important to Colorado and the Western Slope."
The association, a statewide coalition of conservation corps which train and employ youth on environmental conservation projects, offered the same award to Jeanne Nicholson (D - Gilpin County), Summit's former state senator.
"These champions and partners understand that young adults have the power to effect positive change for our environment and communities, while working toward solutions to the critical land, water and energy issues facing our state," Colorado Youth Corps executive director Jennifer Freeman stated in the release.
Hamner and Nicholson passed House Bill 1032 last year, extending state funding for youth corps participation in forest-restoration projects.
Summit County government and the town of Breckenridge will hire individuals between the ages of 16-25 through the Rocky Mountain Youth Corps (RMYC) for two weeks next summer to construct trails in the Golden Horseshoe area. The project will be funded by a $13,440 grant from Great Outdoors Colorado, the organization that allocates lottery funds.
The youth will also decommission out-of-system trails - breaking up old tread, moving vegetation and disguising the corridor to redirect trail users away from the closed trails.
"Youth corps are integral to our land-management efforts," Breckenridge open space planner Scott Reid stated in a recent release from Colorado Youth Corps Association. "We've had RMYC join us for several years running to restore wetlands, close social trails and construct new singletrack. The projects are successful and it's inspiring to see the crew's passion for land protection."