Youth Conservation Corps

Three young people in YCC shirts scan with cameras and binoculars across a mountain lakeThe Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) program was established August 13, 1971. YCC’s continuing mission is to help accomplish meaningful work on public lands while employing 15-18 year olds of all social, economic, ethnic and racial backgrounds. The YCC program gives youth an opportunity to develop an understanding and appreciation of our national forests while exploring the various potential careers the Forest Service offers and practicing leadership skills.

Frequently asked questions:

Who is eligible for YCC?

a youth conservation crew with hardhats and backpacks hike down a narrow trailThis program is intended for local individuals who are interested in conservation work, able to live at home and commute daily to and from their homes to the Flathead National Forest Tally Lake Ranger District and Supervisors Office located in Kalispell. The Forest Service will provide transportation for YCC members between this office and work sites.

Participants must:

  • Be between 15-18 years old and provide proof of age and citizenship on their first day of work. 
  • Be a citizen or permanent resident of the U.S.
  • Have a parent or legal guardian's consent to enroll
  • Provide proper work clothing and work boots
  • Have reliable transportation to the duty location
  • The ability to work outdoors on projects that require physical fitness

All selected individuals will be expected to follow rules and regulations that apply to all Federal employees.

What are the benefits?

Program members will have the opportunity to engage in various job shadow opportunities with Forest Service staff and learn about many different career options in natural resources while gaining professional experience.

YCC members will be paid bi-weekly at the federal minimum wage rate of $15 per hour. Federal and state taxes are applied.

What is the time commitment required?

The program runs from for 9 weeks from June 17 to August 15, 2024. Those selected for the program will be required to attend a mandatory program orientation during the first week and attend the season awards presentation on August 15. 

How do I apply?

Click here for the 2024 application

The deadline to submit your application is March 31, 2024. Please return your completed application form, an essay (see page 3 of the application), and your resume to the Flathead National Forest via email to and, or by mail to: Attn: YCC Program Coordinator, 650 Wolfpack Way, Kalispell MT 59901. All documents must be included to be considered in this competitive hiring process.

Please email the YCC Program Coordinators Matthew Hoppe or Julie Gerrior for more information, or with questions about the program and how to apply. 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons will disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc) should contact USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD). To file a complaint of discrimination, write to USDA Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W. Washington DC 20250-9410, or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202 720-6382 (TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.