Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources Partners with Brewery to Launch New Internship Program

Last month, Devils Backbone Brewing Co. and the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) announced the launch of the state agency’s first-ever paid student internship program. The Crandall Leadership Program will provide additional resources for DWR’s current internship program with an added focus on conservation.

The funding for the program comes from a $30,000 legacy gift from the Anheuser-Busch Foundation given in memory of Devils Backbone founder Steve Crandall, an outdoor enthusiast and wildlife conservationist who passed away last spring.

“It warms my heart that the A-B Foundation wishes to carry on Steve’s legacy in conservation,” said Heidi Crandall, Steve’s wife and Devils Backbone’s co-founder. “Steve and I have been avid and longtime supporters of VDWR and devoted to ensuring the abundance of wildlife and good land in Virginia. The A-B Foundation’s additional funding will widen the developmental path for young adults to pursue career paths that instill leadership, commitment to conservation, and carry on the love of nature for others.”

After previously teaming up in 2020, DWR and Devils Backbone will now focus their partnership on creating accessible and meaningful opportunities for young people to pursue careers in conservation. 

“Steve Crandall will forever be remembered for his dedication to conservation and appreciation of our wildlife,” said Ryan Brown, executive director of DWR. “His passion will live on through these students and their future experiences and accomplishments.”

Currently, two and four interns from area universities will be able to apply for these summer-long internships at the Virginia DWR, to complete a predetermined project and/or via full-time immersion among, but not limited to, the following DWR focuses: ​

  • wildlife management & research ​
  • watershed management​
  • youth development and conservation ​
  • marketing and communication​
  • conservation outreach and education​
  • Mapping

Learn more about the program here

Cover photo: Taken at Humpback Rocks in Virginia by Shannon McGowan

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