Michigan –-(Ammoland.com)- Fifteen young people recently were selected to participate as members of the Michigan Natural Resources Commission's Youth Conservation Council. The new members — from urban cities like Detroit, as well as Upper Peninsula communities like Bark River — will join the 13 youth members currently sitting on the council.
“This was one of the most difficult years for selecting the new members for the council, but for very good reason,” said the Michigan Department of Natural Resources' Raymond Rustem, who serves as adviser to the Youth Conservation Council.
“We received more than 100 applications,” Rustem said. “Because the applicants brought a lot of diversity of experiences, interests and ideas, after the first round of reviews we still had almost half the applicants still in the running for the selection process.”
The NRC Youth Conservation Council is in its fourth year of operation. It was established to provide input to the DNR on strategies for encouraging youth participation in fishing, hunting, trapping and other outdoor recreation activities.
Rustem said those candidates who were selected showed a great deal of interest in the state’s natural resources, involvement in their local communities, and a desire to encourage other young people to get outdoors. Each new member will serve on the council for a two-year term.
Linda Clark, a new council member from Detroit, is eager to get started.
“A lot of people I know prefer to stay inside, or they might not think the outdoors can be a primary source of excitement,” she said. “It would be amazing to network with other youth that appreciate the outdoors.”
During their term on the council, the new crop of council members will participate in meetings to learn more about the DNR and Michigan’s outdoor heritage traditions.
Reaching young people through social media remains one of the council’s chief goals and a continued area of focus. Since its establishment, the group has maintained a Facebook page (www.facebook.com/michigan.ycc) and shares members’ outdoor experiences through regular blog posts (www.michiganycc.wordpress.com) and an Instagram account using #yccoutdoors.
The addition of these 15 new members brings the total council membership to 28 youth.
“The Department of Natural Resources is excited to engage this new batch of enthusiastic youth and to find new ways, together, to continue to promote Michigan’s world-class natural resources and unmatched recreational opportunities,” said Rustem. “We are committed to bringing more youth and their families into Michigan’s great outdoors and helping them build a lifelong appreciation for those resources.”
New members of the NRC Youth Conservation Council are:
- Zachary Barrette, Shelby Township
- Owen Boyce, Bellaire
- Martin Chown, Traverse City
- Linda Clark, Detroit
- Justin Cobb, Bark River
- Weengush Craven, Pellston
- Taylor Curry, Detroit
- Joseph Duckert, St Johns
- Carolyn Hagler, Grand Blanc
- Sam Laczynski, Laingsburg
- Hollie Monroe, Belding
- Jake Putala, Pelkie
- Graham Smith, Lyons
- Olivia Walker, Lapeer
- Kyle Wollam, Livonia
Learn more on the NRC Youth Conservation Council website. Visit www.michigan.gov/dnr, click on Education & Outreach, and find the link under Youth Programs.