Refuge Support Member - Browns Park National Wildlife Refuge

American Conservation Experience

Maybell, Colorado

Job Type Temporary
Salary Details $720/week
Required Experience 0 - 1 years

American Conservation Experience, a nonprofit Conservation Corps, in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), is seeking 1 member to contribute to invasive species removal and upland restoration alongside Browns Park NWR Staff.

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

Start Date: May 2024
Estimated End Date: September/November 2024
*a 16 - week minimum commitment is required, approximately 640 hours, with the potential to extend 8 additional weeks*

Location Details/Description: Browns Park NWR, Maybell, Colorado

Browns Park National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1956 by Public Land Order to provide sanctuary for migratory birds, conserve endangered and threatened species, and offer wildlife-dependent recreational opportunities. The Refuge encompasses a wide variety of habitat types from upland sage steppe and pinyon/juniper forests to wetlands and wet meadows. Browns Park National Wildlife Refuge provides valuable habitat for birds to rest and feed as they migrate each spring and fall, and forage for elk and mule deer that browse the uplands and grasslands each winter. Bald eagles and ospreys nest in the cottonwoods and nesting platforms along the Green River.

Browns Park NWR is a remote refuge located in NW Colorado. The Refuge Office is located 1.5 miles from the Utah border and 10 miles from the Wyoming border. There are three cities with full services in the general area. The nearest are Craig, CO (pop. 9,000) and Rock Springs, WY (pop. 23,000), both of which are 90 miles from the Refuge and require a 1.5-hour drive. Vernal, UT (pop. 10,000) is 80 miles away and requires a 2-hour drive, although there is an alternate route that is approximately 50 miles and 1.5 hours for a high clearance 4x4 vehicle. Maybell, CO and Dutch John, UT are closer to the Refuge but only have gas station convenience stores available for shopping. Employees must bring a personal vehicle to drive outside of work hours. This Refuge is remote and therefore does not have convenient access to stores or social events. The Post Office delivers mail on Monday and Thursday, while FedEx Ground and UPS deliver packages Monday through Friday. 

For more information about Browns park NWR, please visit https://www.fws.gov/refuge/browns-park

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. This position will help FWS realize its mission at Browns Park NWR. 

Duties include working on all aspects of the Refuge invasive plant control program. This includes applying herbicide (ATV, backpack, and hand sprayers) to target areas throughout the Refuge, and mechanical methods (pulling, digging, and cutting) to control invasive herbaceous and woody plant species. This work also includes native plant restoration such as greenhouse work, seed collection and planting grass plugs. The employee also assists with mapping vegetation communities and using GPS and GIS software. They support cottonwood restoration efforts such as transplanting cottonwood saplings from existing nurseries to riparian locations throughout the Refuge. Employee may be responsible to provide work direction for another intern. Duties also include assisting the Refuge staff with routine work such as repairing fences, vehicle and structural upkeep, grounds maintenance, and other related tasks. Refuge work involves standing, bending, walking and a moderate to strenuous amount of physical exertion. The employee will lift and carry heavy items (e.g., packs and equipment up to 50 pounds) on a routine basis. The employee will primarily work outdoors where they may encounter variable weather conditions, stinging and biting insects, nettles and other noxious plants. Additional opportunities include but are not limited to assisting hatchery staff at Ouray National Fish Hatchery, assisting refuge staff at Ouray National Wildlife Refuge, working with Colorado State University Larval Fish lab, assisting BLM site manager at John Jarvie Historic Ranch, and assisting hatchery staff at Jones Hole National Fish Hatchery

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 are expected to be performed Monday-Friday 7am-4:30 pm MDT with every other Friday off. Members are not expected to perform duties on federal holidays. There may be some variation in hours as situations arise in the field. 

Position Benefits

Living Allowance: The ACE Member is expected to contribute ~40 hours/week and will receive a living allowance of $720/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: ACE members will be accommodated in provided FWS housing at no cost for the duration of the term.
The Refuge offers free housing for seasonal employees. Housing is located within the Sub-HQ area, located 10 miles east of the Refuge Office. Each occupant has a private bedroom and shares common spaces including living room, kitchen, laundry, and bathroom. The Green River is ~150’ away and there is a fire pit, picnic table, and kayaks available to the residents (subject to manager's discretion and fire restrictions). The residence is fully furnished, including laundry machines, Starlink internet, and a TV and DVD player. The most reliable cell provider is AT&T and Union Wireless (a local company) which have towers in the area. T-Mobile has less consistent coverage, while Verizon does not work at all in the valley. 

Gear Reimbursement: ACE members will have up to $200 to spend on eligible gear purchases. Eligible gear for this position includes, backpack, hiking boots, pants, hat and must be approved by ACE staff prior to purchase. 

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 may include Defensive Driving, ATV/ORUV training, safe herbicide use and equipment calibration.

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


  • Competitive applicants for this position can hold or be pursuing a bachelor of science degree and/or have relevant experience in subject areas such as wildlife & fisheries mgmt., rangeland mgmt., ecological studies, other conservation oriented degrees.
  • Knowledge of plant and bird identification.
  • Ability and willingness to learn new skills and brainstorm creative solutions.
  • Deep interest in conservation, habitat management, and biology.

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. Required to stoop, kneel, climb stairs, and/or crouch. Ability to hike over rough terrain.
  • 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 50 lbs., ability to move up to 50 pounds.
  • Environmental: Outdoor and indoor conditions. Work environment conditions can change frequently; working under adverse weather conditions and in various climates.
  • Noise Environment: Moderate to high noise such as gas-powered chainsaws and other hand and power tools.
  • Travel: This position does not require unique 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, stinging plants, 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, 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 applications 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, Mac Utter at mutter@usaconservation.org 

EEO: Employment with ACE is based upon ability, qualifications, attitude, and job-related factors. Every qualified employee or applicant has the same opportunity for recruitment, hire, training, transfer, promotion, compensation, demotion, termination, benefits, employee activities, and general treatment without regard to race, color, religion, creed, sex, gender, national origin, pregnancy, ancestry, citizenship status, genetic information (including of a family member), veteran or military status, age, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, medical condition, marital or parental status, political affiliation, ethnicity, hair texture or style, arrest record, caste, hereditary status, endogamy, or any other classification protected by applicable local, state, or federal law.

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

Category Botany , Restoration
Tags GIS