FS employees, Job Corps students recognized at 2019 Corps Network conference

WASHINGTON, DC—The Partnership for the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps will holds its annual conference Feb. 9–13 in Washington, D.C. At the conference, 21CSC awards will be presented to two Forest Service employees and two Job Corps students. They will be recognized for their contributions to 21CSC programs.

Tate Thriffley playing guitar.
Tate Thriffley, DeSoto National Forest, was named 21CSC Champion of the Year. Photo courtesy Tate Thriffley.

Tate Thriffley, 21CSC Champion of the Year for 2019

“What makes Tate an incredible project partner is that he is equally passionate about the development of young people as he is about educating and inspiring the community around environmental and conservation stewardship.” —Stephanie Mathes, director, Gulf Operations, Corps Network

This award recognizes individuals from agencies and organizations that partner with 21st Century Conservation Service Corps programs to help engage the next generation of conservation and community leaders in service, education and training. An ecologist on the DeSoto National Forest, Thriffley coordinates work projects, training and support to GulfCorps crews working on the forest in collaboration with Climb CDC—a nonprofit that provides workforce training and other services—partnered with The Nature Conservancy and local conservation corps organizations. Last year, crews identified and GPS mapped invasive species, applied survey methodologies to identify threatened and endangered species, and performed resource evaluation and rehabilitation work throughout the forest. Crews will be trained to work on prescribed burning and firefighting next year. GulfCorps deploys participants to actively work on projects benefiting coastal habitat like wetlands, coastal forests, bogs, savannahs, oyster reefsrivers and streams to help restore coastal habitats and create more resilient coasts. Projects occur in five states in the Gulf Coast region including on the DeSoto National Forest. A 21CSC organization, GulfCorps equips young people with knowledge, skills and abilities to implement and manage conservation projects. Funding for GulfCorps is provided by the Restore Act and administered by NOAA.

Photo of Greg Sanders.
Greg Sanders will receive the 2019 National Distinction Award for his work engaging veterans in fire programs. Photo courtesy Greg Sanders.

Greg Sanders, 2019 National Distinction Award

“[Greg’s work] convening Corps and USFS leadership has helped the programs succeed, develop, continually improve, and has been instrumental in the placement of veterans in jobs with the USFS.” —Amy Sovocool, chief external affairs officer, Conservation Legacy

Greg Sanders started his career in wildland fire working on an engine crew for seven fire seasons on Malheur National Forest in Oregon. Since then, he has dedicated his career to forest fire management. He has been integral to the development and implementation of the Veterans Fire Corps programming operated nationwide by a variety of 21CSC member organizations including Conservation Legacy, California Conservation Corps, Student Conservation Association, Mt. Adams Institute and Montana Conservation Corps. With Sanders’ support, the Veterans Fire Corps program expanded across the country and has continued to develop and grow in depth and breadth.

Sanders champions and leads the efforts nationwide to engage veterans in fire programs and has worked to increase opportunities for alumni from these programs to successfully obtain jobs in wildland fire. He has convened federal and Corps partners to discuss best practices and opportunities for collaboration. Additionally, Sanders developed a system to collect critical program data from across the country that demonstrates the success and impact of Veterans Fire Corps programs. His commitment to ensuring that all veterans who are interested in a job in wildland fire post-program is explicit and his investment has benefited veterans across the country.

Congratulations to the Forest Service JCCCC members who are among 2019 Corpsmembers of the Year to be honored at The Corps Network Conference 2019 in February.

Levi White, Trapper Creek Job Corps Civilian Conservation Center, and Abdusalam Ibrahim, Weber Basin JCCCC, along with four other Corps members nationwide were selected for the 2019 Corpsmember of the Year Award and will receive special recognition at the February conference. White and Ibrahim are among a select group of exceptional Corpsmembers from The Corps Network’s member Service and Conservation Corps. They have exceeded the expectations of their Corps by exhibiting outstanding leadership skills and demonstrating an earnest commitment to service and civic engagement. The Corpsmembers of the Year are role models; their personal stories and accomplishments are an inspiration to Corpsmembers nationwide.

Photo of Levi White.
Levi White is one of six Corpsmembers of the Year. Corpsmembers of the Year are recognized for their outstanding leadership skills and earnest commitment to service and civic engagement. Photo courtesy Levi White.
Abdusalam Ibrahim perched on a boulder in front of waterfall.
Abdusalam Ibrahim is one of six corps members recognized as Corpsmembers of the Year. Corpsmembers of the Year are recognized for their outstanding leadership skills and earnest commitment to service and civic engagement. Photo courtesy Abdusalam Ibrahim.