Palouse-Clearwater Environmental Institute
Commission AmeriCorps State FY 2011
The Palouse-Clearwater Environmental Institute (PCEI) proposes to place 20 full-time AmeriCorps members as individual placements on projects that address environmental conservation, sustainable living, and rural community needs in Idaho. In addition to being the most heavily forested and mountainous of all the Rocky Mountain States, Idaho contains over 3,250 miles of whitewater river and the largest complex of federally designated wilderness areas in the contiguous 48 states. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Idaho's population rate will increase by nearly 50% over the next three decades ranking it sixth in the nation. These factors, as well as its large number of rural communities, make Idahoans highly dependent on its natural resources for economic, recreational, quality of life uses. AmeriCorps members will work on hands-on restoration projects in watersheds, wetlands, forests, and wildlife habitat; education and outreach; and planning and implementation of long-term rural community projects that range from economic development to land use management. All projects will engage volunteers from the local community to maximize the amount of work accomplished, establish a stewardship ethic among residents, and create sustainability long after project completion. PCEI has a 25-year history of working on these issues throughout the state, with concentrated efforts in the Clearwater River Basin, and 6 years' experience placing AmeriCorps members (2004-2009), making it well qualified and experienced at managing a placement program that meets the needs of sponsor sites and communities, meets goals and objectives that are measureable and valuable, and meets all state and CNCS obligations. PCEI's primary partner in this proposed effort is the University of Idaho?s Building Sustainable Communities Initiative, a multi-disciplinary graduate program that works with rural communities to address pressing needs. The project budget is $432,462, of which $265,476 is requested from CNCS ($13,274 per MSY). Match is provided by sponsor sites, PCEI, and the University of Idaho. The budget allows PCEI to meet all state, federal, and CNCS requirements while providing excellent service to members and host sites.