History / Mission / Cause

History / Mission / Cause

 

History

Founded in 2004 in Flagstaff, Arizona, American Conservation Experience (ACE) has emerged as a national leader in recruiting, coordinating, and training volunteers to undertake practical environmental restoration projects in America’s national parks, forests, wildlife refuges and other public lands. Originally formed under the conservation corps model, which remains the central and largest program in our organization, ACE now provides a range of voluntary service programs for both American and international participants.

ACE’s conservation corps program is for American participants, aged 18-25 who are considering land management as a career path or potential course of study. Corps members serve in professionally supervised teams as they explore future outdoor careers, learn practical field skills, and develop confidence as emerging leaders in the field of conservation. Corps members are supported during their 3-12 month service terms with cost of living stipends, food on projects, and free common housing on off days.

Most importantly, members are afforded opportunities to learn and train under the guidance of professional mentors within ACE, while gaining invaluable career perspectives working side by side with staff from the National Park Service, US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and many other stewards of our nation’s public lands.

Since 2004, ACE has demonstrated that American participants gain a powerful, enriching experience in the outdoors when their efforts are shared with an international community of like-minded youth. ACE’s Conservation Corps members are assigned to projects serving alongside our Conservation Volunteer participants as often as possible, and live in shared housing with our international participants between projects.

Mission

American Conservation Experience (ACE) is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing rewarding environmental service opportunities that harness the idealism and energy of a volunteer labor force to help restore America’s public lands. ACE is grounded in the philosophy that cooperative labor on meaningful conservation projects fosters cross-cultural understanding and operates on the belief that challenging volunteer service unites people of all backgrounds in common cause.

Our Cause

National Parks, National Forests, Wildlife Refuges, wilderness areas and other public lands throughout the United States are imperiled by a combination of dynamics that threaten habitat, endanger vital ecosystems, and compromise the non-negotiable right of the next generation to explore the natural world. While population growth leads to habitat loss, sacrifice of open space, and acute pressure on native wildlife and plant species, America’s land managers face a chronic shortfall of funding to restore our nation’s most treasured lands.

A popular ethic of service and volunteerism is sweeping through the nation and the world. American citizens and their international counterparts are eager to support the cause of environmental conservation, representing a virtually unlimited labor force that properly harnessed, coordinated, and supported, has the potential to revolutionize the capacity of America’s land managers to accomplish restoration work on a scale never before envisioned. However, the national infrastructure to support and manage this unprecedented wave of volunteer dedication has not been fully developed. ACE is committed to capturing this growing worldwide spirit of service by providing the professional level of coordination, training, and supervision necessary to translate idealism into accomplishment for the benefit of America’s National Parks, Forests, Wildlife Refuges, and other protected lands.

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