Wildsight is seeking up to eight young adults in the Cranbrook/Kimberley area to join the Youth Climate Corps (YCC).

According to Wildesight officials, a wildland fire ecologist and YCC advisor, from July to October 2021, crew members on the YCC will earn money and receive training in leadership, teamwork, and communication. Wildsight officials said no prior experience is needed to apply and crew members can earn certifications for climate-related fields, such as forestry, food, energy and ecology.

Robert Gray, a wildland fire ecologist and YCC advisor said crews help reduce the risk of wildfires near residential areas, while also learning about the impact fuel treatments, the clearing of brush and thinning of trees, have on the environment.

“While the value of fuel treatment is clear, we don’t have much data on how forests are responding to these treatments over time,” explained Gray. “Understanding the impact of human interventions is essential for land managers to make efficient, economical, and effective decisions to manage wildfire risk, especially in a destabilizing climate.”

Gray said the YCC plans to sample approximately 300 plots around the area representing a total of 1,000 hectares of forest land.

“These plots will produce a comprehensive picture of recent fuel treatments and help set our communities up to improve wildfire resilience in years to come,” added Gray. “As B.C. does not have an ongoing mechanism to support this kind of wildfire research, the work that YCC crew members do here may be unique across the province and help spur new innovation elsewhere.”

As well as physical projects, Gray said crew members will also engage with community leaders and residents on how to prepare communities for the future while contributing to global efforts to halt and reverse climate change.

Gray said there are other projects currently under development that will focus on enhancing food security and sustainability, efficient energy use, and ecosystem restoration.

According to Wildsight officials, this is the second community the YCC will be joining, after being launched in Nelson last year. Wildsight said they are working to launch crews across the Columbia Basin.

MORE: YCC Application (Wildsight)

** Story by Josiah Spyker ***