About Us

Our Mission

The IIC engages youth in building meaningful leadership and educational skills.  These experiences provide opportunities to develop a working knowledge about natural and cultural resources and a variety of careers in public lands management while shaping the next generation of public land leaders and advocates.

This valuable work creates a sustainable and effective network of land management and education partners.  The IIC leverages existing partner resources to expand partner capacity, supports local economies and under-served communities, shares knowledge regionally, and opens doors for youth development and education opportunities.

Our Vision

The IIC is the premier national partnership model in youth leadership and educational development for public land stewardship.


The IIC is governed by a Steering Committee whose membership is comprised of a representative from each IIC partner Agency, Tribe, or College. This Committee manages IIC budget, staff, and programs.

Each agency office, college department or program manager, fills the membership of the IIC Advisory Board. This board provides input to the Steering Committee related to the focus areas that are of particular value or interest to the partners.

The IIC staff oversee the day-to-day tasks associated with running the cooperative. Together all IIC participants work in support of the IIC mission:

IIC provides a unique organizational structure to network and communicate, access and share resources, and efficiently create and administer shared programs.

The IIC began in 2007 as an outgrowth of, a then newly established, Outdoor Recreation Parks and Tourism degree at SUU. Students majoring in this program needed an internship to fulfill the degree requirements. Simultaneously, several regional land management agencies were endeavoring to strengthen their relationship with SUU, which included an increased emphasis on student hiring programs.

Partnering with these agencies, supported by an initial cost share of $25,000, the IIC assisted in the placement of 15 Interns and practicum students in its first year. Impressed with the quality of SUU’s students and recognizing that the IIC format would be beneficial for all agency program areas, beyond recreation, the partners transformed the IIC from a single program emphasis to an enlarged multi-program emphasis, placing interns in degree-related professional fields in everything from Accounting to Zoology.

Today the IIC places, or directly funds, approximately 200 interns in positions that support each partner’s respective program areas. In addition, the IIC also endeavors to support and partner with several of the region’s Youth Camps, reaching an additional 400+ pre-collegiate youth. (Add link to CMSC)


The IIC can submit competitive grant proposals to acquire funds to manage partner internships. IIC staff work in collaboration with respective partner personnel to develop winning proposals.
IIC partners may directly award program funding in support of IIC’s Internship and Crew programs. These awards come as “Task Agreements,” “Cooperative Agreements,” “Participatory Agreements,” “Cost-Share Agreements,” and “Contracts.”
Private entities, such as Foundations, Associations, Societies, Friends groups, and Individuals are able to support the advancement of IIC programs with their generous tax-deductible contributions.
As a partner in the Colorado Plateau Cooperative Ecosystem Study Unit, the IIC is able to offer an Indirect rate of 17.5% with most funding sources and partners, providing a highly efficient Internship return value.