Land Specialist Fellow - USFWS Mountain-Prairie

American Conservation Experience

Malta, Montana

Job Type Paid Internship
Salary Details $900/week
Required Experience 0 - 1 years

Land Specialist Fellow - USFWS Mountain-Prairie


American Conservation Experience, a nonprofit Conservation Corps, in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), is seeking one Fellow to assist the USFWS Mountain-Prairie Region Division of Realty and Refuges with their land acquisition program with an emphasis on promoting the conservation easement program. The Fellow will gain an understanding of USFWS realty and wetland management district practices through interactions with a professional staff, including realty specialists, wetland district managers, field staff, and cartographers.

For more information about ACE, please visit: www.usaconservation.org.

Start Date: December/January, 2023

Estimated End Date: November/December, 2024

*a 49-week minimum commitment is required*

Location Details/Description:

USFWS Mountain Prairie Region, National Wildlife Refuge System, Division of Realty - Malta, Montana (MT)

The Region includes the states of North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Nebraska, Kansas, Wyoming, Colorado, and Utah. Intra-regional travel should be expected throughout the term (2-5 trips, by car or plane).

The employee will be stationed at Malta, MT. The employee will report to the refuge or management district office five days a week.

For more information about the Mountain-Prairie Region, please visit: https://www.fws.gov/about/region/mountain-prairie

Position Overview: The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.

The Division of Realty supports the growth of the National Wildlife Refuge System (NWRS) in the Mountain-Prairie Region by acquiring land (and interests in land) through easements, purchases, donations, exchanges, and transfers from private landowners, non-profit organizations, and government agencies. The Division further serves as the technical expert on issues regarding post-acquisition real property management and administration, such as boundary disputes and the granting of public rights-of-way. The daily operation of the Division involves a voluminous amount of documents (both paper and electronic). The primary focus of this fellowship will support realty duties as well as Wetland Management District (WMD) acquisition duties. The Fellow will learn about and support the Division's land acquisition process by working with realty staff on specific projects as needed as well as WMD field staff. Occasional day or overnight site visits to National Wildlife Refuges may occur.

This position will help FWS via land acquisition support:

  • Create easement exhibit maps, create County Multipliers for land payment calculation (AALV calculations) for conservation easements, and updating new ownership databases.
  • Observe and support Realty staff during negotiations to acquire real property interests for the USFWS; this may include accompanying realty specialists and wetland district managers on site visits with landowners, collecting and examining documents, and assisting with due diligence.
  • Proofread purchase agreements, deeds, easements, leases, rights-of-way permits, and other realty documents
  • Assist Realty Specialists with closings and post-acquisition tasks
  • Assist Realty staff with general research topics and specific issues related to our current land holdings, including data requests from USFWS headquarters in Washington, D.C. and Freedom of Information Act requests from private citizens.
  • Acquisition Ground Checks, Pre-ground check mapping, coordination with US Department of Agriculture offices
  • Promoting easement programs with realtors as well as with Partners such as Pheasants Forever (PF), Ducks Unlimited (DU), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), etc.
  • Meeting with landowners for targeted promotion and solicitation of our easement programs.

This individual placement is meant to facilitate professional development and promotes exposure to land management agencies and networking with professionals. This could include gaining experience in different conservation fields and shadowing different work groups.

Schedule: Duties will be carried out Monday-Friday. Bi-weekly totals should not exceed 80 hours. Time off may be granted and requests should be directed to ACE and the USFWS for approval.

Position Benefits

Living Allowance: The ACE Member is expected to contribute ~40 hours/week and will receive a living allowance of $900/week to offset the costs of food and incidental expenses, dispersed bi-weekly.

Public Land Corps Hiring Authority: Members serving under this agreement may be eligible for a federal hiring authority upon completion of their term of service and 640 hours of service. If the duration of a PLC-eligible term is not long enough for Members to accrue 640 hours of service (~16 weeks), the total hours served at the completion of the term may be eligible to be combined with hours accrued from another PLC-eligible term to meet the 640 hours requirement. PLC projects also include specific eligibility requirements such as age and citizenship. Please contact ACE staff with questions about eligibility, or view general information online: https://www.usaconservation.org/epic/#eligibility-requirements

Housing: Housing is the responsibility of the member and not provided by ACE or FWS.

Gear Reimbursement: ACE members will have eligible gear purchases covered by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

Provided Training/Orientation: ACE members will receive position specific training and an orientation outlining ACE policies and procedures, clear guidance on prohibited activities, and networks for support. Specific training will include an online Defensive Driving course.

Grant Funding Opportunity: The selected candidate(s) for this position will be eligible to apply for ACE's Access and Inclusion Grant. This is a $500 grant which is intended to make participation in ACE positions more accessible to individuals who are underrepresented in the conservation field. Grant recipients will be able to allocate this funding to financial need(s) of their choosing. A limited number of grants are available.



  • Members must be a U.S. citizen or Permanent Resident, as required by U.S. government contracts
  • Willing and able to represent ACE and the partner organization in a professional, positive, and enthusiastic manner.
  • Ability to be both self-directed/work alone, and be a positive, contributing member of a group.
  • A valid driver's license and an insurable driving record (documentation to be provided upon request).
  • Willing to undergo and must pass the required two part background check..
  • Ability to perform the essential duties of the position with or without reasonable accommodation.
  • ACE Members will need to complete bi-weekly timesheets, beginning of term feedback forms, end of term evaluations and for longer terms, a mid-term evaluation.
  • Member may not participate in any prohibited activities as listed in the Member Service Agreement.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Excellent computer skills (word processing; digitizing; translating data; and editing PDF's in Microsoft Office and Adobe suites).
  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail (file management and ability to meet strict deadlines).
  • Being cognizant of, and practicing safeguards to protect, Personal Identifiable Information (PII) at all times.

To learn more about eligibility requirements, please visit our website: https://www.usaconservation.org/epic/#eligibility-requirements


  • Competitive applicants for this position will hold a H.S. diploma or GED and/or have relevant experience in subject areas such as natural resources, biology, ecology or a related subject.
  • Coursework or experience in real property, real estate principles, rules, regulations and practices, environmental law; familiarity with Federal environmental laws/policies.
  • Ability to read and understand legal documentation associated with real property such as deeds and title commitments.
  • Interest in learning and working with current processes as well as developing new methods of data collection and documenting real property acquisition projects; evaluate different processes and protocols in an effort to produce more efficient and effective solutions.
  • Experience or knowledge of the mission of the USFWS and other federal land management agencies.
  • Strong desire to enter the public service field.

Physical Demands, Work Environment and Working Conditions:

  • Physical Demands: Requires frequent sitting, standing, walking, hiking, carrying, using hands to handle or feel, reaching with hands and arms, talking and hearing and manual dexterity for use of various tools, computer keyboard/mouse and other office equipment. May be required to stoop, kneel, climb stairs, and/or crouch, and hike over rough terrain. May also include driving on dirt roads on 4x4 trucks and/or ATVs.
  • Vision Requirements: Requires close, distance, peripheral and depth perception vision as well as the ability to focus.
  • Weight Lifted or Force Exerted: Frequently moves up to 10 lbs., ability to move up to 30 pounds.
  • Environmental: Outdoor and indoor conditions. Work environment conditions can change frequently; working under adverse weather conditions and in various climate, but also, indoor, office environment conditions.
  • Noise Environment: Mild-to-moderate noise in an office setting and field environment.
  • Travel: This position will require domestic travel.

Environmental Conditions/Hazards: The ACE member(s) may encounter environmental conditions/hazards including extreme heat or cold, rocky terrain, swamp or wetland conditions, biting insects, and potentially dangerous wildlife. The member is expected to conduct duties in a safe and orderly manner so as not to endanger self, fellow staff/members or resources.

Vehicle and Equipment Use/Safety: If a vehicle is required for the accomplishment of the duties, one will be provided by the FWS or ACE. Any tools required for the accomplishment of the duties will be provided by the FWS. Use of personal protective equipment (PPE), typically provided by the FWS, will be mandatory for any activity that requires it. Strict adherence to FWS and ACE equipment training, certification and safety protocols is required.


To Apply: Please submit your resume and a cover letter demonstrating your interest and experience, and contact information for three professional/academic references to the online application page for this position here: https://usaconservation.applicantpool.com/jobs/. Early consideration will be given as resumes are received. This position may close at any time. If you have any questions regarding this position please feel free to contact ACE EPIC FWS Member Manager, Andrew Garcia, at agarcia@usaconservation.org or 928-419-7035.

EEO: American Conservation Experience provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements, American Conservation Experience complies with applicable state and local laws governing non-discrimination in employment in every location in which the company has facilities.

When you apply, please indicate that you are responding to the posting on Conservation Job Board.

Category General / Stewardship
Tags Wetland