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2018 – Fourth Biennial Student Congress on Public Policy for Land Management

The Public Lands Foundation is working with the BLM in Oregon and the BLM national office to sponsor the fourth biennial Student Congress on Public Land Management.

In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and the National Trails Act, the fourth Student Congress will be held in Baker City, Oregon from August 22-25, 2018.

Approximately 25 college students and recent graduates will be selected from a nationwide competition.  Advertising notices will be sent out later this year.

The students will explore aspects of Wild and Scenic Rivers and National Trails including contributions to local economies and rivers and trails as access to other public lands

Following a half day orientation and a day long field trip, the students will spend a day and a half discussing policy considerations from the perspective of today’s youth.  This discussion will lead to a set of recommendations which will be delivered to the BLM Director and Secretary of the Interior.

The application period closed on March 15, 2018.  A total of 63 applications from 37 schools in 18 states and Canada were submitted.  Selections will be made the first week of May.

Here’s what a few of the previous participants have said about their experience.

I first want to thank you, the PLF, and the BLM again for making this opportunity possible. The trip to New Mexico was a very rewarding experience that I will carry with me forever.  –  Aaron Cinque

I’ve been telling everyone I work with how thrilled I was with the caliber of conversation at the Student Congress. – Claire Martini

It was a wonderful experience and I gained so much knowledge and appreciation for public lands and the BLM.   Working on actual issues and visiting lands was eye-opening for me– the politics are extremely frustrating (even more than expected!), so it was amazing to see such dedication to stewardship in spite of so many obstacles. – Kim Young

For more information on the event and how to apply, click here.

Please contact Mike Ferguson at for further information about the 2018 Student Congress.


FAQs About the Student Congress

Q:  I will graduate before the Student congress is held.  Are recent graduates eligible to apply?
A:  Absolutely.  We are looking for a mix of undergrads, grad student and recent (within 18 mos.) graduates.

Q:  Is there any opportunity for young people who have gone through the Internship Program and recently been hired under the Direct Hire Authority?
A:  Yes. We actually reserve 3 slots for young people who have recently been hired by the Federal government under the Internship Program.

Q:  I am a university student in Canada, but have a great interest in natural resources and the outdoors.  Would you consider my application?
A:  Absolutely.  In fact, you would likely bring a perspective and some experience that would be very valuable to the group.