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About JFSC

The goals of this program are to:

  1. Educate our youth on the history and current issues related to public land management;
  2. Engage students in providing input into the future of these lands; and
  3. Expand potential career consideration and enrich student resumes.

Starting in 2012, Student Congress events were hosted by the Public Lands Foundation (PLF), a national membership organization that advocates and works to keep public lands in public hands. In 2022, the student congress was hosted through a partnership with the Andrus Center for Public Policy, the Public Lands Foundation, and National Association of Forest Service Retirees. This partnership provided Boise State University and the Andrus Center the opportunity to recognize the life and legacy of John Freemuth, University Distinguished Professor and Cecil D. Andrus Endowed Chair of the Environment and Public Lands at Boise State University. John was a central figure in the previous four congresses and his passing in May of 2020 left a tremendous void. 

At this 2022’s event, we renamed the Student Congress the “John Freemuth Public Lands Student Congress” and transition its organization to the Andrus Center in order to facilitate regular support, coordinated logistics, a permanent repository of institutional memory, and legacy support.

Program Funding

Students had no out of pocket expenses when selected to participate. Expenses are covered by the generosity of donors, grant funding, and facilitating partners. It costs roughly $2,500 per student to host a Student Congress and involves a large group of volunteers and constituents to facilitate. All costs are direct costs of goods and services and speakers are paid a modest honorarium (usually $500). No hosting partner retains any funds to pay organizing members to facilitate the Student Congress.