Conservation Leadership Corps

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Conservation Leadership Corps

Now Accepting Applications!
Click Here to Apply!

Learn More: Developing Conservation Leaders and Advocates of Tomorrow

The Conservation Federation of Missouri (CFM) has long been a catalyst for engaging citizens in conserving Missouri’s natural resources. With the growth of urban areas and increased population, it is essential that the strong conservation heritage of Missourians be passed on from generation to generation.

To achieve this goal, the CFM sponsors a special multi-year program. The Conservation Leadership Corps (CLC) offers high school and college students a unique opportunity to influence conservation policy and actions.

The goal of the program is that no matter where their chosen careers lead them, e.g., lawyer, doctor, accountant, engineer, journalist, forester, wildlife biologist, etc., the CLC participants are prepared to personally influence policy and actions that will contribute to the conservation of Missouri’s natural resources.

The CLC promotes leadership for the next generation by engaging students in the politics of conservation. Students develop personal conservation leadership skills that require teamwork with their peers during the resolution writing process.  They are accepted as full voting members at the Annual Meeting and are invited to participate in committee discussions.  The issue resolutions they research and develop in teams are submitted to the Federation’s voting membership.  If approved, they carry the same weight as any other CFM policy resolution and become part of the basis for the Federation’s political activity throughout the year.

The program also allows students the opportunity to meet and interact with resource professionals from the Missouri Department of Conservation, the Department of Natural Resources, and other conservation organizations statewide. Students are encouraged to engage and volunteer in at least two of the numerous conservation activities offered throughout the year with other CLC students. Volunteer opportunities include CFM Explore the Outdoors Regional events, Pull for Conservation, Prairie Fork Work Days, Stream team clean-ups, or affiliate events.

The program is highly regarded by the Missouri Department of Conservation, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, and other conservation organizations and is beneficial for internship and job opportunities. The program is a resume builder.

Who is eligible?

Students who are high school sophomores through college sophomores when they apply.  Our hope is that students have the opportunity to have at least 2 years in the program.  Applications open in the spring.


Potential Scholarships
Networking Opportunities (helps with internships AND jobs!)
Float Trip
Fall Workshop
Free Room/Board at CFM Annual Convention
Leadership Skills
Communication Skills
Learn about state and conservation policy-making
Lifelong Friendships

CLC Brochure

CLC Promo (1)
Play Video

15 Reasons to Join the Conservation Leadership Corps

By CLC Members Ashley Hollis, Brooke Widmar, and Cassandra Barker

The Conservation Leadership Corps (CLC) is a multi-year youth education program for high school juniors and seniors and college students. The goal is to engage youth in sustaining the conservation of our natural resources and to develop the next generation of conservation leaders.

Since 2002 we have worked with over 400 students through the program.  We want YOU to apply for CLC this year!  Why?  Here are 15 reasons:

  1. Attending the Conservation Federation of Missouri Annual Convention (CFM) – Held in March each year, students get to stay in the Capitol Plaza Hotel in Jefferson City and participate in convention activities.
  2. Network with Professionals – Students get the chance to rub elbows with CLC alumni, resource professionals, and even agency directors. The Annual Convention is a great time to talk to professionals about your career interests, ask questions, and make connections.
  3. Learn About Conservation Issues – Learn about issues impacting conservation from resource professionals, as well as legislative issues impacting conservation.
  4. Influencing Policy – Research pressing conservation issues and help write resolutions that will be sent to government agencies or appropriate organizations.
  5. Fall Workshop – Spend a fall weekend at Lake of the Ozarks where students sleep in cabins, sit around the lakeside bonfire, hone leadership skills, and start the resolution drafting process.
  6. Conservation Day at the Capitol – Join fellow students and conservation affiliates in Jefferson City to take a stand for conservation! You’ll receive a guide and run-down on speaking with legislators, meet the World Bird Sanctuary’s bald eagle, and get the chance to talk to your representative and senator!
  7. Internship and Volunteer Opportunities – With over 100 CFM affiliates, there are hundreds of volunteer opportunities throughout the year. CLC students have a foot in the door for internships, and often catch wind of opportunities early through affiliate connections.
  8. Prairie Fork Workday –  CLC students and alumni enjoy special access to the beautiful Prairie Fork Conservation Area for a workday restoring and maintaining Prairie Fork.
  9. Friendship – Make long-lasting friendships with like-minded students from across the state.
  10. Float Trip – Grab your camping gear, river hat, and jump in a canoe to join our annual Stream Team river cleanup! Float down one of our beautiful Ozarks rivers while helping to keep it pristine.
  11. Leadership Development – It’s not a CLC event without a leadership development activity of some sort! You’ll learn effective leadership strategies and how you can put your unique leadership abilities to use.
  12. Communication Skills – Whether it’s one-on-one discussion while networking, or presenting to a resource advisory committee, there are many chances to practice and improve communication skills.
  13. Events Across the State – Students get to be involved with events in Jefferson City, Williamsburg, Lake of the Ozarks, Kansas City, St. Louis, Eminence, just to name a few…
  14. Free Steak Dinner – Get dressed up, attend the banquet and live auction on Saturday evening, and network with directors and professionals from statewide and national conservation organizations.
  15. Get Connected with the Conservation Federation of Missouri – Join the largest voice for conservation in Missouri – CFM! Be part of making a difference.
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