Trail Crew Member- Great Smoky Mountains National Park

American Conservation Experience

Cherokee, North Carolina

Job Type Paid Internship
Salary Details $840/week
Deadline Jun 01, 2024
Required Experience 0 - 1 years


American Conservation Experience, a nonprofit Conservation Corps, in partnership with the National Park Service, is seeking TWO Trails Crew Members to contribute to trail projects alongside Great Smoky Mountains National Park staff and volunteers.

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

Start Date: June 2024 *(flexibility may be available for the right candidate)

Estimated End Date: December 2024 (or 28 weeks after start)

***A 28 week commitment is required***

Location Details/Description: South District of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Cherokee, NC.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is unique among America's National Parks; located on the border between North Carolina and Tennessee, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is renowned for its rich diversity of plant and animal life, the beauty of the ancient mountains and forests, and its preservation of the Southern Appalachian mountain culture.

For more information regarding the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, or the National Park Service, please visit: http://www.nps.gov/grsm/index.

Position Overview

The ACE Member(s) will serve their season working on trails either in the back country or front country of the park and be working under the Trails program. The service requires very strenuous effort in moving heavy materials to and around the job site. The Member must be able to hike steep trails in all weather conditions transporting tools and personal gear and work in difficult terrain. Members routinely move items over 50 pounds.

The ACE member will perform all aspects of trail maintenance and construction as part a crew directed by a designated leader. May co-lead or independently lead groups of volunteers in basic trail maintenance following training in volunteer management. Examples of the work performed include clearing brush and fallen logs from trail corridor; maintaining and constructing log or rock drains; installing log or rock retainer bars, steps and

checks. Construct foot logs, turnpikes, and stock bridges from native materials. Uses shovels, picks, pulaskis, loppers, hand saws, chainsaws, string trimmers, rock bars, draw knives, measuring tapes, levels, power drills, and other trade tools when performing trail maintenance and construction duties. Maintains the tools and equipment used in safe operating condition. Ensures work is performed safely and within prescribed NPS standards.

The ACE member will regularly assist NPS staff in leading and mentoring park volunteers in completing trail maintenance and construction projects. Plan outreach goals and assist with overseeing daily operations of the trails volunteer program and outreach efforts. Update and improve park and partner websites, and social media platforms to promote trail maintenance volunteer opportunities and showcase accomplishments. Collaborate with staff and park partners on programs and events involving both local and visiting youth and student groups. Strengthen the park's relevance to the local community and engage the community in stewardship of the park's cultural and natural resources.

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: Monday - Thursday 7:00am - 5:30pm. Member may have the opportunity to work out of remote backcountry camps requiring overnight stays up to one week.

Position Benefits

Living Allowance: The ACE Member is expected to contribute ~40 hours/week and will receive a living allowance of [$840]/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 NPS.

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. Optional: Specific training may include: (examples could include certifications the member would receive during their term)



  • 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.
  • 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 minimum of an associate's degree and/or have relevant experience in subject areas such as trail building.
  • Knowledge of trails maintenance and construction methods.
  • Interest and experience in working with volunteers of all ages and abilities.
  • Ability and willingness to hike 10+ miles in a variety of potentially harsh environmental conditions and camp in a backcountry or front country setting.
  • Ability and willingness to use a variety of hand tools, carry and move things weighing 50 lbs or more
  • Deep interest in outdoor recreational pursuits and being a productive part of a team.

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. Manual dexterity required for use of various tools, computer keyboard/mouse and other office equipment. Required to stoop, kneel, climb stairs, and/or crouch. Ability to hike over rough terrain, and camp overnight under field conditions.
  • Vision Requirements: Requires close, distance, peripheral and depth perception vision as well as the ability to focus.
  • Environmental: Outdoor and indoor conditions. Work environment conditions can change frequently; working under adverse weather conditions and in various climates. Mainly indoor, office environment conditions; indoor air quality is good and temperature is controlled.
  • Weight Lifted or Force Exerted: Frequently moves up to 30-50 lbs., ability to move up to 50 pounds.
  • Environmental: Work environment conditions can change frequently; working under adverse weather conditions and in various climates.
  • Noise Environment: Moderate to high noise such gas-powered chainsaws and other hand and power tools. Moderate noise such as in a business office with equipment and light traffic.
  • 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, 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 NPS or ACE. Any tools required for the accomplishment of the duties will be provided by the NPS. Use of personal protective equipment (PPE), typically provided by the NPS, will be mandatory for any activity that requires it. Strict adherence to NPS 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 Eastern Member Manager, Emily Oostveen at eoostveen@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 General / Stewardship , Outdoor Recreation
Tags Trail Maintenance