Kyle Sullivan: From Corps Member to Mojave Trails Manager

Corpsmember? Check. CYCA’s 2011 Corpsmember of the Year? Check. Master’s degree in environmental policy and management? Check. Internship with the Bureau of Land Management? Check. Permanent job with the BLM? Check!

Kyle Sullivan’s career path couldn’t have been more direct. As an alum of Weld County Youth Conservation Corps (WCYCC), Kyle used his corps experience as a launching pad for his career in natural resources, and for the last two years has served as manager of BLM’s Mojave Trails National Monument in southern California – the largest national monument in the BLM at 1.6 million acres.

The Chance to Follow a Dream

Kyle credits CYCA and its partnership with BLM for the chance to follow a dream. In a recent letter to CYCA, he wrote:

“I often think back to my youth corps days and my early career, and know that you and the rest of the team at CYCA changed my life!”

Kyle Sullivan

At WCYCC, Kyle had served as the environmental education coordinator and a crew leader, an experience he says was valuable for developing solid communications and supervisory skills. After completing an internship with the BLM, Kyle was offered a full-time permanent position as public affairs specialist for the BLM’s Colorado State Office. There, he created a comprehensive outdoor and environmental education program for field offices across the state. He then entered a BLM leadership development program, where he expanded his leadership skills. As acting assistant field manager, he supervised a renewable resources staff of 16 – including a wildlife biologist, a recreation planner, an archaeologist, a hydrologist and others.

Recently Kyle served as a program lead for Collaborative Action and Dispute Resolution (CADR) in Washington DC. CADR highlights and encourages collaborations and brings opposing parties together to address issues and find common grounds on issues related to multiple use management, an opportunity Kyle says was unique in giving him a national perspective.

Engaging the Next Generation

At 31 years old, Kyle is likely the youngest monument manager – a fact that he feels fits well with his employer’s goal and vision of engaging the next generation of land managers. That, he says, also fits nicely with his own plans.

“Now’s my time to implement my vision for Mojave Trails, including building programs that support youth and science, environmental outreach and community building, and that work with the local community to implement their vision for public lands,” he said. He’s particularly interested in working in underserved communities. One program he’s spearheading is Women in Science Discovering Our Mojave (WISDOM), working with minority-serving institutions to engage people in public land management at the monument and involve them in data collection efforts.

Forever a Champion

“Youth corps was definitely life-changing for me. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do after college, and corps gave me focus for getting into natural resource management,” Kyle said. “I will forever be a champion of the work you do and career pathways for youth corps members.”

Check out this video with Kyle’s personal invitation to visit the monument!

Congratulations, Corpsmembers of the Year

Despite the massive snowstorm that hit the Front Range on January 28, all nine of our Corpsmembers of the Year made it to Denver for the annual Youth Corps Awards Ceremony on Capitol Hill!

Here are the nine corpsmembers we honored, first with a ceremony at the Scottish Rite Masonic Center, then a celebratory brunch at the Warwick Hotel. We are so proud of them and their hard work, and grateful for their dedication to Colorado’s natural resources.

And the Winners Are…
  • Linlee Morrison of Longmont: Colorado School of Mines student, awarded by Boulder County Youth Corps
  • Elaina Burris of Loveland: Mountain View High School student, awarded by Larimer County Conservation Corps
  • Matthew Peyko of Lakewood: Awarded by Mile High Youth Corps
  • Jacob Rogers of Colorado Springs: Awarded by Mile High Youth Corps-Southern Front Range
  • Chris Merino of Rifle: Colorado Mountain College student, awarded by Rocky Mountain Youth Corps
  • Amanda Grams-Martinez of Hesperus: Awarded by Southwest Conservation Corps-Four Corners
  • Brock Goode of Salida: Salida High School student, awarded by Southwest Conservation Corps-Los Valles
  • Shelby Clark of Greeley: University of Northern Colorado graduate, awarded by Weld County Youth Conservation Corps
  • Brandon Irvin of Grand Junction: Colorado Mesa University student, awarded by Western Colorado Conservation Corps
Thanks for Joining Us!

We send a tremendous thanks to these corpsmembers – and their families – for braving the weather to be here in Denver with us for the festivities. We also owe a huge thanks to the state legislators who came in support of these amazing young leaders.

Learn more about the winners in our Facebook photo album.

View our photo album of the awards ceremony.

Shop at REI, Vote for CYCA!

Are you an REI member? If so, your in-store purchase and your vote will support CYCA!

From March 7 through April 8, you can vote to have a portion of a $50,000 grant count as a donation to CYCA. The percentage of votes corresponds to the percentage of the donation allocation.

For example: If 25% of members vote for CYCA, 25% of $50,000 goes to CYCA – or $12,500.

Where can you shop?

All eight REI stores in the local market are participating: Denver, Boulder, Lakewood, Greenwood Village, Westminster, Fort Collins, Dillon and Colorado Springs.

REI has selected CYCA, Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado and Colorado Fourteeners Initiative as the grant recipients. Now, GO! (And thanks in advance!)

Lives and Landscapes: Impacts in 2018

Ever wonder how many people’s lives are changed by corps in one year? Ever think about how much work corps complete on Colorado’s landscapes? The list below will give you a good idea. Suffice it to say, it’s a LOT.

Lives Impacted
  • Youth corps served 1,572 youth, young adults, and military veterans and their families
  • Youth corps distributed more than $1.19 million in AmeriCorps Education Awards to 673 young adults and military veterans to pay tuition or reduce existing student loans
  • 25% of corpsmembers belonged to an ethnic minority
  • 42% of corpsmembers were low-income
  • 26% of corpsmembers had no prior work experience
  • 45 young adults were placed in paid internships with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), 62% of whom qualified as diverse participants
  • 244 corpsmembers earned First Aid and CPR certifications
  • 112 corpsmembers earned Wilderness First Responder or Wilderness First Aid certifications
  • 251 corpsmembers were certified in S-212 Wildland Fire Chainsaws
  • 52 corpsmembers were certified as wildland firefighters
  • 98 corpsmembers received additional certification in crosscut saws, mental health first aid, green energy audits, and much more
  • The Careers in Natural Resources Initiative reached 585 youth and young adults in career trainings across the state
Landscapes Impacted


  • Built or maintained 168 miles of pedestrian, off-highway vehicle, bicycle, and equestrian trails
  • Installed 491 rock and wood steps and installed 2,357 feet of rock retaining walls
  • Installed or maintained more than 1,200 water diversion structures to ensure trail sustainability
  • Constructed, maintained, or removed 41 miles of fencing
  • Treated over 1,000 acres for urgent risk of wildland fire
  • Removed 57,313 invasive or hazard trees from forests, riparian areas, and campgrounds
  • Treated 6,252 acres for non-native species harming ecosystems, filling more than 2,000 bags with noxious weeds
  • Planted 9,413 trees and plants
  • Installed 261 signs
  • Moved more than 165 tons of trees, dirt, gravel, and rock

Here’s to another great year. 2019, bring it on!

Corps Network Selects Senator Bennet

Earlier this month, The Corps Network selected Colorado’s Senator Michael Bennet as a “2019 Corps Champion.” Colorado corps presented him with a plaque commemorating his selection in Washington D.C. last week. Congratulations, Senator Bennet, and thank you for all that you do in support of corps and Colorado!

Pictured from left to right: Tiffany Weimer (Western Colorado Conservation Corps), Scott Segerstrom (Colorado Youth Corps Association, Senator Bennet, Antonio Barreiro (Mile High Youth Corps), Matt Jennings (WCCC), Ron Hassel (Southwest Conservation Corps), Ryan Banks (Rocky Mountain Youth Corps).

Video Junction

Each issue of the Corps Report features a video illustrating the people, projects and places that make conservation corps so special!

This issue’s featured video, “My Job!
is brought to you by Southwest Conservation Corps.

In the News…

Daily Sentinel: Trail Work Plunges Ahead
Boulder Adventure Lodge:
7 Nonprofit Groups Making Waves for Colorado Conservation & Stewardship
Denver Water Tap: Millennials gain hands-on experience
Vail Daily: To our next governor: A note about water and its importance to Colorado’s economy
Greeley Tribune: Platteville teen awarded by Governor’s Summer Job Hunt
Pine River Times: Prescribed burning helps forest health
Crested Butte News: Baxter Gulch Trail: 25 years in the making
Steamboat Magazine: A Day as a Rocky Mountain Youth Corps Trail Crew Member
Steamboat Pilot & Today: Community Connections: Ode to a Rocky Mountain Youth Corps Member
KSJD: Organizations Tackle Invasive Tree Species in Animas Basin
Aspen Times: Skico employees foundation awards record amount for environmental causes
Times-Call: Boulder County Youth Corps seeks workers for new season
Durango Herald: Railroad nationally recognized for fire mitigation
The Business Times: West Slope Youth Corps to Share in Funding