Park City High School student Grant Carston, left, receives some nature photography instruction from Sierra Hellstrom, a Forest Service instructor with
Park City High School student Grant Carston, left, receives some nature photography instruction from Sierra Hellstrom, a Forest Service instructor with photography experience, during the Nature High Summer Camp help July 15-18 at the Great Basin Environmental Education Center in Ephriam Canyon. (Courtesy of Natural Resources Conservation Service)

Nature High Summer Camp, a high-energy environmental learning experience for high school students in Utah, was held July 14-19 at the historic Great Basin Environmental Education Center in Ephraim Canyon.

Several federal natural resource agencies and state partners have sponsored the event for more than 20 years to help students of all walks of life learn the importance of science-based natural resource conservation. This year, 25 students from across the state came together to learn about natural resources, meet natural resource professionals, learn the value of teamwork and have fun making new friends.

To provide a "real life" learning experience, the students were divided into resource interest groups, under the direction of a camp counselor. They were presented a scenario that required the development of a resource management plan to achieve the best public good on private and public lands in Ephraim Canyon. The five groups -- representing livestock producers, environmentalists, hikers, all-terrain riders, and a sportsman group -- met together Friday evening, July 18, in a town hall setting to agree upon a solution.

During the camp each group spent time with resource professionals to study such subjects as wildlife biology, hydrology, entomology, soil science, and forest ecology. Other time was spent learning about natural resource career and volunteer options and visiting nearby Snow College. Their service project was to clear weeds and brush around the historic structures.


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Utah high school students interested in applying to attend next year's camp in July can go online to www.naturehighcamp.com for more information. There is a $50 participation fee for the maximum of 30 students selected from among the applicants. To see some of the activities from this year's camp visit the Nature High Summer Camp or BLM Facebook pages.

The sponsors are the Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service, Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Geological Survey, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Utah State University Extension and Snow College.