The Outdoor Classroom - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

The Outdoor Classroom

Posted: Updated:
GREAT FALLS -

Getting out of the classroom and immersed into the outdoors is the goal of the Youth Forest Monitoring Program. For the last seven weeks, a select group of Montana high school students had the opportunity to conduct research in the Helena National Forest. And it wasn't just for fun, students presented recommendations to the U.S. National Forest Service.

Expanding their world view is one benefits Conservation Educator, Liz Burke said students gain from this unique program.

“A lot of students come in not knowing about their neighborhood and the forest surrounding their communities, so one important thing they learn is just how many amazing resources there are for recreation, for getting out and exploring and for the many uses of our national forests," Burke said.

Capitol High School junior Megan Key said, this opportunity gave her skill sets she can use in any career path she takes.

"You get valuable knowledge, it's not just outdoor monitoring skills, you also learn presentation skills and speaking that'll help you in life and helps you get your foot in the door for jobs later in life," Key said.

At the end of the program students present their findings to the U.S. Forest Service and gives recommendations to better protect our natural resources. Senior Andy Turner focused his research on controlling weed population in the forest.

"We want to spray these areas with a herbicide in order to control the weed population we have growing there. We also want to deter people from spreading weeds such as hikers mountain bikers," Turner said.

Since 1998 the Youth Forest Monitoring Program says over 60% of its students have chosen careers in the natural resource field. Beyond the numbers students say this program has helped them navigate the academic terrain.


  • One arrested while opposing confederate fountain removal

    One arrested while opposing confederate fountain removal

    Friday, August 18 2017 2:18 PM EDT2017-08-18 18:18:15 GMT

    The City of Helena has begun removing a monument to Confederate soldiers that has been in a park in Montana's capital city since 1916.

    The City of Helena has begun removing a monument to Confederate soldiers that has been in a park in Montana's capital city since 1916.

  • Couple has "made it" in Townsend glass shop

    Couple has "made it" in Townsend glass shop

    Wednesday, August 16 2017 9:35 PM EDT2017-08-17 01:35:37 GMT

    Jim and Terry Gundersen opened Goose Bay Handblown Glass in 2002... with one goal in mind: "We always felt like we will have arrived once we start finding our glass at garage sales." Jim, a former blacksmith, had no problem transitioning into the business. Terry... well, she sacrificed a lot of sleep.  "The difficult part was that I was still working as a nurse, 12 hour night shifts, and then I would blow glass during the day," says Terry. Jim chimes i...

    Jim and Terry Gundersen opened Goose Bay Handblown Glass in 2002... with one goal in mind: "We always felt like we will have arrived once we start finding our glass at garage sales." Jim, a former blacksmith, had no problem transitioning into the business. Terry... well, she sacrificed a lot of sleep.  "The difficult part was that I was still working as a nurse, 12 hour night shifts, and then I would blow glass during the day," says Terry. Jim chimes i...

  • Attorney General Fox Asks Congress to Amend Sex Trafficking Law

    Attorney General Fox Asks Congress to Amend Sex Trafficking Law

    Wednesday, August 16 2017 6:55 PM EDT2017-08-16 22:55:04 GMT

    The Montana Department of Justice sent out a press release stating that Attorney General Tim Fox joined 49 other state and territorial attorneys general in a bi-partisan coalition urging Congress to amend the Communications Decency Act (CDA) to clarify that states, localities, and territories retain authority to investigate and prosecute facilitators of child sex trafficking wherever they operate, including online. 

    The Montana Department of Justice sent out a press release stating that Attorney General Tim Fox joined 49 other state and territorial attorneys general in a bi-partisan coalition urging Congress to amend the Communications Decency Act (CDA) to clarify that states, localities, and territories retain authority to investigate and prosecute facilitators of child sex trafficking wherever they operate, including online. 

  • Montana, US: clashes over Confederate monuments following Charlottesville

    Montana, US: clashes over Confederate monuments following Charlottesville

    Tuesday, August 15 2017 8:51 PM EDT2017-08-16 00:51:00 GMT
    Credit: Google 2017Credit: Google 2017

    Members of the American Indian Caucus are calling for the removal of a Confederate monument in Helena at Hill Park. Following the events in Charlottesville, VA Representative Shane Morigeau says it's past due that the Helena City Commission remove the statue, which was commissioned by the United Daughters of the Confederacy, a group listed as Neo-Confederate by the Southern Poverty Law Center. 

    Members of the American Indian Caucus are calling for the removal of a Confederate monument in Helena at Hill Park. Following the events in Charlottesville, VA Representative Shane Morigeau says it's past due that the Helena City Commission remove the statue, which was commissioned by the United Daughters of the Confederacy, a group listed as Neo-Confederate by the Southern Poverty Law Center.