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Youth Range Camp application deadline is April 27

Posted 4/22/2009

Caliente, Nev.,— Applications are now being accepted from high school students to attend the Nevada Youth Range Camp to be held June 21-27 at the U.S. Forest Service’s Big Creek Campground in central Nevada. Applications must be postmarked by April 27.

"Nevada Youth Range Camp is a teenager’s best opportunity to learn about Nevada’s desert and mountain rangelands," said Jim Gatzke, youth camp coordinator. The Society for Range Management operates the weeklong camp for 14- to 18-year-olds from Nevada and eastern California.

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension conducts the program with staff from various state and federal agencies including the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Nevada Division of Forestry, Nevada Division of Conservation Districts, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Nevada Department of Wildlife. Financial sponsors include Nevada Wildlife Federation, Nevada Conservation Districts, Nevada Bighorns Unlimited and Nevada Society for Range Management.

Campers will have the opportunity to learn from range management professionals who are knowledgeable in the ecology and management of the Great Basin’s desert and mountain rangelands. Students learn basic surveying and map reading; identification and importance of rangeland plants; evaluation of sagebrush and woodland ecosystems; wildlife surveying techniques; evaluation of stream health, and many other topics related to rangelands. While the camp is educational, it also offers an enjoyable outdoor experience with activities such as swimming, fishing, hiking, volleyball, horseshoes, campfires and photography.

Interested students must submit an application and letter of recommendation from an adult other than a parent or sibling. The cost to attend Range Camp is $150, which includes meals and camp activities. Applicants can be sponsored to attend Range Camp by contacting their local conservation district or other organizations. Forms and information can be found on the Nevada Youth Range Camp Web site or by contacting Jim Gatzke at (775) 726-3101.

Completed applications with enclosures can be mailed to NV Youth Range Camp, c/o USDA NRCS, PO Box 8, Caliente, NV 89008; or can be e-mailed to Gatzke. If sent by e-mail, letters of recommendation must be on the adult’s official letterhead or must be a scanned copy of the adult’s letter and signature. Applications must be postmarked or e-mailed by April 27. Approved applicants will be notified within two weeks.

Camp is held every June at the U.S. Forest Service Big Creek Campground in central Nevada’s Toiyabe Mountain Range. The Toiyabes are one of Nevada’s most impressive mountain ranges with several peaks over 10,000 feet in elevation. June is an ideal time to be in the Toiyabes when numerous wildflowers are in bloom and the vegetation is green from the recent snowmelt.

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