Inter-Tribal Natural Resources Camp

Photo of people working in a riparian area.

For over 20 years, the Inter-tribal Natural Resource Camp has been a hit for teens from area Indian Reservations. Each summer the Nez Perce National Forest joins four other National Forests and four Indian Tribes in hosting the weeklong camp. While the camp targets teens living on or near area reservations, tribal enrollment is not necessary.

Resource professionals from the Nez Perce, Clearwater, Colville, Idaho Panhandle and Payette National Forests, and Nez Perce, Coeur d’Alene, Kalispell, and Spokane Tribes offer lessons and work opportunities for energetic youth. Participants from a variety of tribes across the northwest travel to National Forests to learn skills like tree and plant identification, orienteering, and survey techniques, and to put those skills to use. They survey roads, streams and archaeological sites, perform stand exams and monitor wildlife habitat. They also help with a variety of projects like constructing fences to protect habitat, improving campgrounds by replacing old signs and picnic tables, and “electro-fishing” to collect fish for sampling.

Participants also learn important lessons in communication, teamwork and leadership.

Over the years several camp alumni have pursued natural resource careers and now work for the Forest Service, tribes or other land managers.

Photo of people working at picnic tables.