Forest Youth Success

Despite living in a county that is about 90 percent forested, many Skamania County youth have few linkages to and little knowledge of the surrounding forest. With changing economies, youth also have few employment opportunities nor many chances to develop job experience. Additionally constrained resources, forest managers and communities need help completing projects that benefit the health of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. These three challenges make this forest youth program a success for Skamania County! Skamania County young adults employed by FYS Program learn-by-doing. WSU 4H Challenge programs create a safe, hands-on learning environment that achieve the following goals for the program: (1) teach the fundamentals of forest ecology and forest health management (2) Enhance and develop positive life skills to increase employability (self confidence, communication, teamwork, group problem solving) (3)Develop a sense of responsibility for the forest and Skamania County communities (4) Achieve infrastructure and ecosystem management objectives on the south end of the GPNF and nearby communities (5) Provide basic job skills while earning a minimum wage stipend to participating youth and employ local adults as crew leaders.


We are thrilled to welcome Heidi Scmidgall as the new Forest Youth Success Program Coordinator.

“My involvement with outdoor programs has given me various opportunities of working with federal and state public land and resource management agencies,” Schmidgall said. “I have worked on trial crews in Boulder County, Colorado and have organized service learning trail projects for students while working for Bold Earth, an adventure travel company and Pacific Quest, a Hawaiian wilderness therapy program. I worked as an AmeriCorp intern for Cascade Mountain School, which allowed me to understand the dynamic partnership between public agencies, including Non Profits, the Forest Service, Public Lands, School Boards, and community organizations. My knowledge and experience with these programs will allow for a successful and smooth transition as the Forest Youth Success Coordinator. I am excited to be working with Skamania County and all of the people involved in this amazing program.”
Schmidgall is a graduate of Portland State University, where in 20015 she earned a Master of Science degree in Educational Leadership and Policy with Specialization in Leadership for Sustainability Education. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Adventure Education with an Environmental Studies Focus.

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Large Crest Extension

Office Hours: 7:30 - 5:30 Monday to Thursday

Office Location: 710 SW Rock Creek Drive Stevenson, WA 98648

Mailing Address: PO Box 369 Stevenson, WA 98648

Phone Number: 509-427-3930